Most of us start our day expecting normalcy: get up, brush your teeth, go to work, go home, cook supper, go to bed (or something like that).
But the drivers involved in the six million car accidents that occur in the US every year face an unexpected day, and in their surprise, often make common mistakes that hurt their case in the long run.
Will you know what to do if you’re involved in a car accident? The team at Castereno Insurance & Tax Services wants to make sure you can answer that question with a resounding yes!
You’ve Been in an Accident, Now What?
Despite pressure from other drivers involved or your own worry about getting in trouble or your car insurance premiums increasing, you must report the accident to police. Reporting the accident is critically important, and in some cases, failing to report can be considered leaving the scene of an accident. Call 911 and let the dispatcher know that you’ve been in accident, where the vehicles are located, and whether anyone is hurt, and then stay on the line and follow their instructions until they hang up.
Next, contact your insurance agent. Even if you’ve done your best to be prepared for a situation like this – or even if you’ve been in an accident before – every situation is unique, and adrenaline can inhibit your ability to think clearly and behave rationally. Your insurance agent can help you recall important details, take the right steps while you’re on the scene, and protect yourself from undue liability.
Then, under the guidance of your insurance agent, start the process of gathering information, writing down what you remember, and taking pictures as appropriate. Information that might be the most meaningful later includes the name, contact information, and insurance information of any other drivers involved in the accident; photographs of the aftermath of the accident, including vehicle damage; your recollection of the events leading up to, during, and right after the accident; and names and contact information of passengers and witnesses, if any.
Finally, connect with your agent as soon as possible after you’ve left the scene to begin the claims process.
Things to Avoid After an Accident
Now that you know what to do after an accident, it’s also important to discuss the things you should never do after an accident:
- never leave the scene without sharing insurance information, getting a copy of the other driver’s insurance card, and notifying the authorities
- never tell anyone at the scene that you believe you caused the accident; accidents are complex, and many factors can contribute to a collision so a complete investigation is necessary to determine fault
- don’t discuss the details of the accident with parties other than the police and your agent; remember that the other driver may be able to bring claims against you so it’s important to protect yourself
If you’re in the market for auto insurance or looking for better coverage or rates than you have now, visit the caring team at Castereno Insurance & Tax Service in Abilene or Sweetwater, TX, today.