Act Fast: What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident

Traffic accidents can be jarring when you consider more than 1 million people die in car crashes every year. It doesn’t matter if it’s a major collision or a minor fender bender.

When you feel the car hit yours, there’s a feeling of panic and disorientation. If you’re involved in a car accident, there are tasks that should be completed as soon as possible to make it easier for you and your insurance company.

It’s possible that if there is significant damage, injuries or indecision on fault that you and your insurance company could be heading to court. Give yourself the best chance at winning by completing these five tasks right after the accident.

Safely Secure the Scene after a Car Accident

Safety should be the first priority. If it was a fender bender and you’re in the middle of the street, move the cars to the side of the road. Place warning markers or flares to warn traffic of debris and your vehicles. If you or other parties are injured, don’t move and wait for police and paramedics.

Securing the scene is important to law enforcement can get a complete picture of what happened, but not at the expense of your safety. It’s permissible to move the cars if they are blocking traffic or if there is a danger of further collisions.

Contact the Police

If there is an accident, even if there seems as if there is no damage to the car or injuries to people involved, you should contact the local police department. They make a formal report, take statements and personal information from both parties and provide a record.

Why is this important? There is an official record of the accident for you and the insurance companies. If there is ever a dispute of what was damaged, who was at fault or what happened, there is an official report from the police that describes everything and what people said at the scene.

Take Pictures and Videos of the Damage

It’s important to document any damage or injuries from the accident at the scene. While you shouldn’t interfere with the police investigation, take pictures and videos with your cell phone when you can. This provides more solid information for yourself and the insurance companies.

Sometimes people will come back and say there was more damage done or try to get old damaged fixed because of the accident. You can avoid this by taking pictures and videos that show the damage at the time of the accident.

Exchange Information with Other Drivers

During certain circumstances such as bad weather, the police may not be available to come to a minor accident. You should still contact them and then grab insurance information from the other drivers. You’re going to file a claim, ask to see each driver’s insurance information and write it down.

You should give your information to them as well. This way, you have all the information you need to file a claim and contact the other people involved in the accident.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Once you’ve documented the scene and the police finished the report, contact your insurance company about the accident. They’ll have specific information they’ll need and want everything you have documented.

Once you’ve talked to them, follow their instructions and if you feel the need, contact a lawyer to handle your interactions with the insurance company or the other people involved with the accident.

With more than 6 million car accidents each year, it’s important to give insurance companies what they need because they’re processing many claims every day.

Make the Process Easier By Following These Steps

When you’re in a traffic accident, life can get complicated. If you follow these steps you can make the process easier for you and your insurance company. The goal is to come to a fair arrangement and get your car fixed so you can get back on the road.

If you want to learn more about car accidents and handling insurance after an accident, then explore our site.

Hit and Run 101: What to Do After a Hit and Run Collision

About every forty-three seconds, a hit and run accident happens. If it happens to you, it can be scary and overwhelming. Most people aren’t prepared for an accident where the other driver immediately leaves.

The best thing to do is to be prepared. That way, you can act quickly and calmly. The most important thing is to keep everyone safe.

Keep reading to learn what you should do after a hit and run accident.

1. Pull Over Safely After a Hit and Run

The first thing you should do after a hit and run is pull over safely. Do not try to fight or chase the culprit. This can and will only make the situation worse.

2. Call the Police 

Now that you are pulled over and safely parked, you should call the cops ASAP. If you don’t contact the police, your insurance company can drag out this claim process, or worse, deny it. Don’t stress if you don’t have a description of the car that hit you or a license plate number, simply calling the cops and reporting it is enough.

3. Gather Evidence

Refer to a Car Crash Checklist for the ten steps you should take after an accident. For hit and runs, you want to make sure you take as many pictures as possible.

Be sure to show all the damage at various angels and also have pictures of where the incident happened. You want to focus on the quality over the quantity of the photos.

Also, make sure you write down everything that you remember happening, including what happened before and after the accident. Also, note any details you have about the other. You might not have the license plate number, but any other details you have will help.

4. Look for Witnesses

If there are witnesses, get their stories and contact information. Witnesses can really help back up your version of the event.  If the witness wrote down the license plate, then you would be able to file a police report.

You will also want to give this information to your insurer who would attempt to get your deductible costs from the responsible party.

5. Contact Your Insurance Company

Once you filed a police report, you will want to file a claim with your insurance company.  To have the hit and run damage covered you will need either collision coverage or uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD).

Keep in mind UMPD does not cover hit-and-run damage in Georgia, California, Ohio, Louisiana, Colorado, or Illinois and is not even available in all states.

If you have this kind of coverage, you will most likely have to pay your deductible to start the repair process. You might get reimbursed if the police or your insurer find the driver that hit you.

If you don’t have collision or UMPD coverage, then you will be stuck paying for this damage out of pocket. If the hit and run driver is never caught you will never be reimbursed.

Take The Next Steps

Now that you know what to do when you’re involved in a hit and run, start taking these steps today. The more you do at the scene of the accident, the more likely you are to catch the driver that hit and ran.

If you need your car repaired, contact us today!