Car accidents occur every single minute of every single day, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration, and the vast majority of those accidents result in either property damage or personal injury.
If you found yourself involved in a motor vehicle collision today, would you know what to do? It’s our hope at Butler Insurance that you are never involved in an accident, but it’s our goal to prepare you so that if you are, you know exactly what to do to get help and protect yourself in the process.
Things You Should Never Do After an Accident
Most importantly, we’d like to share with you the things you should never do after an accident:
- Never, never, never leave the scene of the accident regardless of the circumstances surrounding the collision. Even if you’re afraid you may have been at fault, you’re worried you might be in trouble, you’re concerned about auto insurance premiums going up, the consequences will be much worse if you drive away.
- Don’t allow the other driver to pressure you not to report the accident. If there is any damage at all to either vehicle (or nearby property), a police report is necessary for proper accident investigation and claims processing.
- Never share with other parties on the scene (like the driver of another involved vehicle, witnesses, or even law enforcement) that you believe the accident was your fault. Until a thorough investigation has been completed, you can’t possibly know what other factors played into the scenario and contributed to the crash. Admitting fault can stop any investigation and leave you liable for an accident you may not have caused.
Things You Should Definitely Do After an Accident
Now, here are the steps that are most likely to protect you in the long run and ensure an accurate, thorough investigation is completed:
- Call 911 as soon as the accident occurs. Let them know the location of the accident and stay on the line, doing what they ask you to do on the scene and answering their questions briefly. Provide only the answer to the questions asked; avoid oversharing.
- Call your insurance office to let them know what happened and seek their guidance. They can help you stay calm and follow the right steps in the moments to follow.
- Work with law enforcement. Answer their questions (again, providing the information they request without providing additional details they didn’t ask for), produce the documents they need (license, registration, insurance), and don’t leave the scene until they’ve dismissed you.
- Ask any other drivers involved for their name, phone number, and insurance card. Take a picture on your phone if it’s more convenient.
- Use your phone to document the accident, taking pictures of as many angles as you can and capturing any damage.
- If at all safe and possible, get the name(s) of any witnesses who saw the accident. When fault is not clear, this may be the deciding factor when determining who is at fault. This must be an unbiased third party witness and cannot be an occupant in your car.
Once the officer is done on the scene, you can work with your insurance agent to open a new claim and make arrangements for repair and a rental car, if necessary and covered.
In the market for better coverage just in case or hoping to lower your rates? Visit the friendly team at Butler Insurance in Fischers, IN, in person or online today to get started!