What to do after a car accident – Getting in touch with good to go insurance

car accident

Automobile accidents can happen to anyone at anytime. The old saying about Murphy’s law has never been so true when it comes to cars colliding. According to the National Highway safety administration there were 3.8 million people injured as a result of a car accident and over 35,000 vehicular related fatalities in 2013. This means that in each and every year, you have a greater than 1% chance of getting injured in an automobile accident.

People prepare for things like earthquakes, droughts and even aliens from outer space, but how many of us think about what to do after a car accident. Each time you get into a car it will more than likely be the riskiest thing you do all day, so preparation and information is key.

Prepare first for car accident

1. Always wear your seat belt no matter how short your drive may be. It is a reality that the majority of accidents people get in are typically 5 miles or less from their home. Always buckle up and have all of your passengers get buckled up before your vehicle moves.

2. Make sure all objects in your vehicle are safely secured. Did you know that even lightweight objects such as a Kleenex box that are stored in the back window ledge have killed people. This is because in the event of a high-speed crash, that small box can become a lethal 70 mph weapon. It’s always best to keep your items safely stored away in the trunk before you take off.

3. Obey all traffic laws. Traffic laws are there to prevent accidents and should be taken seriously. Being a safe driver will not only greatly reduce your chance of getting into an accident, but will also create a safer driver environment for everyone sharing the road with you.

4. Carry up to date proof of automobile insurance with you at all times. Also, in the event you are in an accident, it’s good to have a camera available in addition to a pen and paper.

Immediately after the accident:

Emotions can really cloud your judgment after an accident and panic can set in. Here are some basic steps that will help you in the moments after a crash.

* Think safety first. If your car is exposed to oncoming traffic that might not see you, pull off to the road immediately. Think in terms of priorities and saving lives. If you or a passenger is bleeding heavily then the wound needs to be tended to first.
* If there is a fire then all passengers need to exit the vehicle quickly before a 911 call is made.
* Only after life threatening matters have been controlled to the best of your ability do you need to call 911. In most cases, other persons who witnessed the accident will make a call to authorities before you do.
* If you are lucky to be in a small ding accident, move to the side of the road so you don’t impede traffic and cause additional
collisions.

Be careful what you say and do after an accident
If you do talk to the other driver after the accident, focus on obtaining basic information and do not talk about who was responsible or say things like “that was all my fault” before the facts are clear. This is because there is a very real possibility that your statements could be held against you in court, causing you financial liability, even if the accident factually was not entirely your fault.

Obtain all relevant information

In order to process your auto insurance claim as soon as possible after an auto accident, you need to get all the proper information.
It helps to write down all the info you need and keep it alongside your insurance identification card. Many insurance companies will offer you an accident sheet, which will contain the following:

* Name of the person that hit you
* The persons home address
* Cell phone, home phone number and email address
* The car type, year and even VIN number
* Insurance company and policy number
* License plate info

Take several photos after the accident

Assuming you are not seriously injured and you have moved to a safe area, several photos need to be taken.

1. Take a photo of the damage done to your automobile.
2. Take a photo of the surrounding area, including cross street signs.
3. Take photos of the other parties car and of the people involved.

When the police arrive, it is smart to get the name, ID/badge number of the officer handling the accident. Next, you must get the officer to send you an accident report. Remember to always tell the truth to the officer because more than likely the forensic work done at the scene will determine who was at fault. It might take a few days to get the report and the if the case is taken to court, the police officers opinion will be held in high esteem.

Filing your auto insurance claim
Get on the phone with your insurance carrier right away. The faster you provide the necessary information the insurance company needs, the faster you can get compensated.

filing your auto insurance claim

Some companies such as Geico have claim representatives that work 24/7 and even during holidays, which really helps when you are in urgent need. Once you have started the claim process, make sure you answer any additional questions your claim rep might have and again always tell the truth.

Your insurance rates might go up

If you were at fault in the accident, your car insurance rates will likely rise. Some companies in recent years like Allstate have initiated accident forgiveness programs that do not raise your rates after your first incident. If you do get hit with a big rate increase, you might want to get a quote with a new company and try and lower your rates.

You can go online anytime from the comfort of your home and find affordable auto insurance that will keep you insured at sites like this. It only takes a few minutes of your time and you can save hundreds per year, so apply today.

by Toni Kohonen