Getting into accidents can occur to all kinds of drivers whether you’re newly licensed or have been driving for years. There’s a chance that you got nervous and panicked or got distracted and didn’t properly leave the scene. You know for a fact that you are the victim and yet, you end up being held responsible for the accident, just like Miss Lu in the “Rear-End Collision but Front Car Fully Responsible” article. To prevent being put in that situation, you must be familiar with the process. Here are the five steps on how to deal with a car accident:
1. Keep calm, make sure you’re safe, and check for injuries
In the unfortunate event of an accident, many people tend to panic and easily forget to check on their own safety. They are also afraid to call the ambulance because it’s too expensive. If you do get injured during a car accident, you should immediately call 911 and have the ambulance take you to the hospital.
You should also understand that even if the ambulance arrives at the scene and you just get a blood test and blood pressure test, as long as you’re not admitted into the hospital, there will be no costs.
The areas around the car accident may be dangerous. If there is absolutely no possible chance of your car exploding, then the driver and passengers should stay in the car and call the police for assistance. Do not run around and do not run out of the car to avoid getting hit by oncoming cars.
2. Get the other party’s information
In this generation, we are so used to using our phones to record information but recently, there have been many cases of identity theft. To protect your privacy, do not give your license to anyone and make sure there is no way for them to take a picture of it.
Make sure you have paper and pencil in your car so that you can exchange auto insurance information if a car accident were ever to occur. When exchanging information, in addition to getting the name, phone number, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and policy number, you must confirm that:
- The person is the owner of the car
- The insurance card is valid and not expired
- The license plate number on the insurance card matches the license plate on the car
- The name on the insurance card and the name on the driver’s license is the same
If any of the above statements are false, then you should contact the police department to avoid any problems when handling the car accident claims.
3. Get witness information and take pictures of the scene of the accident
Under safe circumstances, you should take pictures or videos to document the scene of the accident. This includes the street the accident occurred on, the location of the vehicle, and the condition of the vehicles that were involved and damaged.
It is best not to use passengers that were in the car as witnesses because it may be considered biased. You should try to find witnesses at the scene and get their contact information.
4. Report it to the police
Whether the car accident is serious or not, it is recommended to report it to the police.
Do not meet privately and do not show that you’re sorry or apologize. This is because after the accident, all evidence the insurance company needs is critical. If it is difficult to determine who was responsible for the accident, an apology can only cause trouble because it would make it seem like you held some kind of responsibility for the accident.
If the police is there to record the statements of both parties on-site of the accident, the insurance company will use the police as their main source especially when there are no witnesses.
5. Notify your insurance company
Within 24 hours of the car accident, you should notify both your own and the other party’s insurance company and put the information on record. In the future, it can help determine who’s responsible and how to carry on with the situation in helping you decide which company you want to choose.
Your testimony must be consistent to whoever you are reporting to, including the police and the insurance companies. Otherwise, investigators will doubt your credibility which can be disadvantageous to you.
If you are our auto insurance customer at KCAL Insurance Agency, you can call 1-800-681-8288 and our auto insurance department specialists will help you contact insurance companies and process any further claims.
Many people have stated after a car accident, the price of insurance given to them by the insurance company is not the same as it was prior to the accident. This is because they use aftermarket parts instead of OEM parts to lower the cost so the price might not be what you expected.
We at KCAL Insurance Agency would like to remind you that there are so many kinds of insurance in the U.S. When you’re buying auto insurance, you must carefully read and fully understand the contents of the policy and choose the right auto insurance for you. At the same time, if you feel that your rights have been violated, you should find a lawyer to help protect your rights.