With squealing brakes and the crunching sound of metal, your first reaction when you get into an accident is most likely to panic. After all, no one expects it to happen to them and when it does, it’s easy to get carried away.
However, panicking is not going to help anyone and you may actually cause damage. The best thing for you to do is to remain calm and know how to take control of the situation.
The most important thing to do first is to check to make sure that nobody is seriously injured. If the people in your car are fine, check with the other car. If possible, try to see that no one else gets hurt by placing flares or directing traffic around the accident until the police can arrive.
Then, you must call the police. This is important, even in a small accident where nobody is hurt. Filing a police report helps to protect your rights, whether you were at fault or not. If you do not file a police report at the scene of the crime, you may be surprised to learn that the other driver filed one later. This may mean that you didn’t have a chance to tell your side of the story.
While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, you may want to assess the damage to both cars. The best thing to do is to take pictures of the accident, showing damage to the cars and the positions of the vehicles. This will help the insurance company to determine who is at fault. Many people have a camera attached to their cell phone. This is ideal for taking pictures of a car accident. If not, you may want to carry a disposable camera just in case of an accident.
Exchange information with the other driver. Make sure you get a name, address, phone number, and insurance information. You should also take down the license plate number and other car information, such as the make, model and VIN. If the driver is not the insurance policyholder, make sure that you understand their relation.
When the police arrive, they will start to file a report. Make sure that you give them all the details truthfully, but don’t admit fault, especially if you were not at fault or if both parties are partially to blame.
Call your insurance company as soon as possible. If you can, it’s a great idea to do this at the scene of the accident, so that the police can talk to the company if you need them to. The police are often better at explaining the details in the way that the insurance company wants to hear.
If you follow all of these steps, you can be assured that the technicalities of your accident will go smoothly and you will not have as many problems getting your insurance company to pay the money that you deserve.
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