There are around 6 million traffic accidents per year in the United States. Car accidents are extremely upsetting, even if you are not injured. Most people have no idea what to do immediately after being in a car crash. Fortunately, there are a few basic things that you should always do after having an accident.
1. Don’t Admit Fault
Although it might be your natural reaction to say you are sorry, it is best that you don’t admit fault. Admitting that you are at fault can put you in a very awkward position with your insurance company. In some cases, it could even hurt your chances for an insurance claim for damages. Even if you believe that it is your fault, you should say nothing and let your insurance company or your lawyer work for you.
2. Remain Calm
Accidents are extremely stressful, but getting upset does nothing to help the situation. Anger, fear and other emotions get in the way of acting reasonably. Even if you are angry, it is always best to keep a cool head even if the other people are emotional. It would be best if you never react with anger because it can cause trouble later on. By remaining calm, you put yourself in a better position to speak to the police and your insurance company.
3. Call the Police
Always call the police. Police are trained to assess accidents, injuries and other factors involved. Also, having a police report to submit to your insurance company or lawyer will help clarify what exactly happened in the car crash. A police officer can also pull security camera footage or call emergency services if they are needed. Police will take pictures of the vehicles and accident scene. These pictures can prove invaluable when you are filing a claim to get your car fixed.
4. Call the Insurance Company
You should always tell your car insurance company that you were in an accident. Call them as soon as possible after a crash. They can help advise you on what other actions you need to take. Very often, they can get the insurance claim started as soon as possible. This will help you avoid any delays in getting your car fixed and back on the road.
5. Collect Names of Witnesses
Whenever possible, collect the names and phone numbers of anyone who witnessed the accident. Witnesses are extremely helpful if what happened is in dispute. Remember, people see things from different angles and may see something you missed in the crash. They can sometimes tell if the other person is on their cell phone or texting while driving. A witness will also help you if you need to go to court over the accident.
Car accidents are difficult to get through, particularly if you’ve never been in one before. In some cases, the insurance company will attempt to avoid paying the claim. If this happens, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer who specializes in these sorts of issues. The world of car accidents and insurance can be difficult to navigate under the best circumstances, but there is help available.