Car accidents are one of the last things in the world that people would like to see happen. However, no matter how careful we are, accidents can still happen either due to other driver’s negligence or extreme weather. So today, we are going to talk about what to do after a car accident to minimize your loss.
Check for injuries
The first thing you should do after a car accident is to check whether you and your passengers are injured. If anybody is injured, call 911 and seek medical help. Always call the police even if the injury is minor, because signs of severe injuries are usually hard to read unless you are a professional.
Protect the scene
Turn on your emergency lights to notify nearby traffic. If the damage is minor and your car is still drivable, move your car to a safer area after taking pictures. If your vehicle is disabled, use flares or flashlights to keep you safe while you are waiting for rescue.
Calling the police
It is always beneficial to call the police even if nobody is injured in the car accident, since the police can help you sort things out, provide a police report, and issue a reference number for further investigation. However, in some metropolitan areas, such as New York City or Los Angeles, police usually won’t come to a fender-bender accident. Instead, the police will just ask you to exchange information and have the insurance company deal with the claim.
Document the accident
Photos or videos of the crash scene can provide substantial details that may prove to be relevant to your claim and even remind you of the things that you might forget. Photo and video evidence can also help you substantiate the fault of the other party and thus lead to a successful claim and full compensation that you are entitled to for your loss. When taking photos make sure to include crucial information, such as any injuries, damage to your vehicle and other party’s vehicle, location and if you happen to have a dash cam that has GPS, make sure to secure the data of speed and location of the accident.
After you document the scene, remember to exchange information with the other driver. There are two things you need to get from the other party:
- Driver’s license
Once you have these two documents, you can contact either your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company to negotiate the compensation. Meanwhile, there are three things that need to be kept inside your vehicle:
- Driver’s license
- Insurance Card
If police officers are present at the scene, they will need to collect both parties’ driver’s license and registration. So please make sure to renew your driver’s license and registration and always keep them with you whenever you’re driving.