WHEN IT IS NOT CLEAR WHO IS AT FAULT
When you are involved in a car accident, your safety comes first. There will be many issues to deal with before your life is back to normal. Maintaining car insurance is the law and personal responsibility. The one word that applies to both your legal and personal protection is LIABILITY. According to most state laws, there is a required liability minimum coverage to provide security against claims resulting from injuries and damage to people and property. If you are involved in an accident, we recommend taking the following steps before leaving any car accident scene. Keep this list in mind before leaving the scene of an accident, single car, or multi-car pile-up included.
1-People First. Call 911 For Injuries
Make sure injuries are dealt with immediately. Call 911 if you or anyone involved needs medical attention. Notify the police to report the location of the accident and wait for help. Locate your driver’s license, registration, and insurance card and be ready to share when required. Keep a list of your emergency contacts on your phone and with your registration information. Remember to review at least twice a year for any updates.
Once you have checked on everyone and have all medical emergencies under control, begin documenting the scene. Take pictures and video of the accident and all damage to cars and the surrounding area. Be sure to note the make and model of every vehicle involved, time of the accident, weather, and other details as you recall them. Ask for car insurance, registration, and note the license plates of all involved parties. Share your videos and photos with someone you trust, so you have a back-up of your documentation. If there are witnesses to the accident, get names and contact information. Double-check that your phone is working, and if not, now is the time to find your roadside emergency bag and use a pen and paper to make notes.
3-File An Accident Report And Call Your Insurance Agent
Call your insurance agent to report the accident. Make sure you have filed an accident report with the police and share the file number with your insurance agent. Even if you were involved in a single-car accident, you can usually file a police report online and keep the file number for all claims.
If you hit a parked car and can’t find the owners attach a note with your name, contact information, and insurance company information. Document the damage before you leave the scene and be prepared to take responsibility for the accident. You never know when a security camera has captured your incident, own up to the damage before the law comes looking for you.
4-How To Describe A Car Accident Scene
A picture is worth a thousand words, so document everything in photos and videos as soon as you are able. Try to keep your comments and words to a minimum. Do not claim fault or volunteer information and respond honestly to direct questions from the authorities. If a police officer is taking notes and drawing a sketch to describe a car accident scene, it is best not to contradict or be difficult. Try to remain calm and remember your documentation will come into play when your insurance company investigates the claim. You do have the right to contest the findings and fault at a later date.
At Independent Insurance Associates, our job is to protect you and your property. Remember to stay at the scene of an accident, deal with injuries first, document all damage, and answer the authorities honestly. We encourage you to give us a call to review your vehicle liability coverage and make sure you have the best available protection. In the unfortunate event that you are involved in an accident, those policy details will make all the difference in your recovery and replacement expenses.