It can happen to anyone. You’re driving along, thinking about all of the work you need to get done and how you still have to help your child with her math homework after you get home, then out of nowhere it happens. You get broadsided by another motorist.
Accidents happen all of the time. In fact, it’s estimated that all motorists get involved in an average of four accidents during their lifetimes, or about once every 18 years. Though this number can vary considerably depending on where you live, the likelihood of being involved in an accident is high for all drivers, regardless of age.
But what happens when you get in an accident? What are the proper steps to take?
In this post, we’ll outline exactly what you should do when you find yourself in an automobile accident.
Immediately, and before you get out of your car to speak to the other driver, call the police and report the collision.
Many times, an uninsured motorist will try to plead with you to not call the authorities. They may even offer you cash in place of calling the police to allow them to leave the scene of the accident. But you should not give in, despite their plea, no matter how empathic you are.
In order for your insurance company to properly handle any claims you might file, they’ll need a police report of the incident. And this simply makes your insurance company’s job of getting funds from the at-fault party easier.
Aside from that, if negligence was involved such as if the other party was intoxicated or on drugs, the authorities need to be notified because this is illegal activity and it needs to be handled accordingly.
After you’ve notified the proper authorities and have exchanged contact and insurance information with the other motorist, contact your insurance company and report the accident.
Your insurance company will then ask you for a police report and any information the other driver may have given you, and then they’ll go to work attempting to secure funds from the at-fault party’s insurance company to pay for any damages due.
This is a lengthy process that can take considerable time. So be prepared to wait for answers in some cases, depending on the quality of your insurance company, of course, and your policy.
Additionally, if you find that your insurance company seems to be lagging behind or not following up on any claims, it might be time to shop around and compare auto insurance quotes to find a reputable insurance company.
When you get involved in an accident, the event happens so quickly that you may not even realize that you’ve been injured for several hours, or even days in some cases.
In addition, during and after an accident, adrenaline will surge within your body causing any pain you would normally feel to be muted. This is why many drivers find out they have injuries days after an accident, and this is especially common for injuries such as whiplash.
No matter if your collision was a minor fender bender or a complete total, you need to see a physician immediately after an accident (within 24-48 hours) just to make sure no internal damages were caused.
And, the sooner you report any injuries to your insurance company, the sooner your insurance company can go to work to get you the financial compensation that you rightfully deserve.
Accidents are no laughing matter, and you want to treat them with the seriousness that they demand. When you get in an accident, you have to keep in mind that you could be without a vehicle for an extended amount of time, or you might even have to miss work due to medical issues and injuries.
Handle all the aforementioned steps in a timely manner, and you’ll be back behind the wheel before you know it.