A Guide to Auto Accidents and Insurance
People hate to think about it, but it does happen. People do get into automotive accidents, and there is a chance that you or someone in your life will be in an accident at some point during your lives. Consider the number of accidents that occur in the United States each year. It’s around 5.5 million, and out of these crashes, around 3.8 million people have injuries. These accidents cost a total of $267.5 million in 2013. And sadly, an average of 1.3 million people die in automotive accidents every year in America.
Accidents can be very stressful, naturally, even accidents that don’t result in much damage. Many people do not know what they should do in the aftermath of an accident, and this causes them a number of problems at the moment and later. Let’s look at the simple steps that you need to take after getting into an accident:
• Check for injuries
• Call for help
• Get to somewhere safe
• Take notes and photos
• Exchange information
• Talk with your insurance company
• Stay calm and in control
Check for Injuries
The first and most important thing to do is to check for injuries to see if anyone needs immediate medical attention. This is always the most important part of an accident and the first thing that you need to do.
Call for Help
If someone is injured make sure you contact the authorities for help as soon as possible. Even though there is a good chance that other people have probably already called the accident in to the authorities, you should do the same just to be sure. In addition to calling for medical help, it is often a good idea to have the police arrive and write up a report as well. This can be very important later in the event that you file a lawsuit against the negligent party.
Get to Somewhere Safe
Car accidents often put you and others involved into some very dangerous situations. The roadways could be busy and dangerous. The accident could have caused a fuel spill, fire, and more. It is important to make sure that you and everyone else is in a safe position. This may mean moving away from the scene of the accident if there are no injuries that prohibit movement.
Take Notes and Photos
Documentation of the accident will be very important for your insurance company, as well as for an attorney. Take notes of what happened immediately after the accident, and try to take photos as well. Talk with any witnesses who may have seen what happened and get their information.
Exchange information with the other party involved in the accident. Get their name, contact information, and insurance information at a minimum. Even though the police will likely get this in their report, you want it as well, so you can provide it to your insurance company as soon as possible.
Talk With Your Insurance Company
You need to get in touch with your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. Let them know exactly what happened and be fully honest with the information you provide.
Stay Calm and in Control
No matter who is at fault for the accident, you need to stay as calm and collected as you possibly can. Of course, depending on the nature of the accident, this can be difficult. However, as a rule of thumb, try to remain as in control as you can. Do not yell, do not place blame, and do not take blame. Just take a deep breath and keep your temper under control.
To learn more about what you should do when you have been in an accident and how it can affect you insurance, get in touch with us today.