Accidents happen when we least expect them. Auto accidents are no exception. Here are some steps to take if you are involved in an auto accident:
Most important, establish whether anyone is injured. If so, call 911immediately.
Unless you are blocking traffic, try not to move cars until the police arrive. However, safety is your first priority. If you feel unsafe, move your car to the side of the road.
If there are no injuries or an accident occurs on private property, the police may not respond. Be sure to obtain complete insurance information and identification. Write down the license plate number and the vehicle identification number (VIN).
One party may not want to call the police and accepts blame at the scene. This may be an option, providing you have the contact information of neutral witnesses – passersby who witnessed the accident (not your passengers). But note: Once the at-fault party realizes rates will increase, the story may change. It’s always best to call the police and ask them to respond.
At the scene, do not argue about who is at fault. Exchange information and tell the other party he or she will hear from your insurance carrier.
If you have your cell phone, take pictures or a video of the accident scene.
Call your agent right away. Most insurance companies have toll-free numbers to report your claim, and reporting delays can jeopardize your coverage. Keep your insurance card in your vehicle so that you can prove you have up-to-date coverage.
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter.