You can’t plan for a car accident. They just happen. Depending upon the severity of the crash, it may be a life-changing event or an annoyance. In every instance, car accidents have financial, medical, and legal consequences. While you can’t plan for an accident, you surely should prepare for one.
Preparation means you know what to do the moment a car accident occurs. Because car accidents, even minor ones are traumatic, it is a good idea to jot down a list of “To Do” items and leave that list in your wallet just in case of an accident. If you don’t make a list, the likelihood of remembering these things becomes less likely. So, here’s what should be included in your list:
1)Safety-you need to ensure the welfare of all those involved in the accident, if you are not too injured yourself. Property such as vehicles can be replaces, human lives cannot. If there appears to be any injuries, call for help immediately.
2)Call the Police-law enforcement officers are trained in accident investigation and will fill out a report that your insurance company will need after the accident. Also, police provide a buffer between you and the other driver in case the situation becomes heated.
3)Document what happened-if you’re not seriously injured, document what happened. Make sure to include the driving conditions, weather conditions, your speed at the time of the accident, any evasive action you may have taken to avoid the accident, and if you noticed the other driver’s behavior such as talking on the phone or texting. The fresher the incident is, the more detail you will be able to provide.
4)Exchange information-Get the other party’s name, address and phone number as well as the name of their insurance company. Take note of the car’s make, model and tag number and make sure they have all of your information. You’ll also want to get the names and phone numbers of anyone who witnessed the accident.
5)Call your insurance company-as soon as is possible, notify your insurance company so that they are aware of the accident. They will need to know how to obtain the police report and the other driver’s information.
6)Maintain all records concerning the accident-this should include all hospital bills, prescriptions, auto repair shop bills, lost wages, and rental car expenses.
7)Contact an attorney-the insurance company will have their lawyers looking into the accident, it may be a good idea to speak with an attorney soon after the car accident to protect your rights and to ensure you are treated properly by the insurance company.
Car accidents are an unfortunate, unwanted part of life. You can’t plan for them but you surely should be prepared for them. That’s just common sense.