In the twenty years I’ve been serving my clients insurance needs there is no other time more stressful and complicated for them than the minutes just after an automobile accident.
Unfortunately, these are the most important minutes of all. And you need to be aware of the basic Do’s and Don’ts after a collision.
Let’s start with what NOT TO DO first as these mistakes can be very costly.
Do Not Do The Following After an Accident:
- Do Not Move your vehicle, unless you’ve been instructed differently by the authorities at the scene. You should leave your vehicle right where it is, do not move it.
- Do Not Put yourself in danger. If your vehicle is still “in traffic” after the accident, SAFELY EXIT THE VEHICLE AND GET YOURSELF AWAY FROM ANY DANGER.
- Do Not Admit you are at fault. Even if you think you might be at fault this is not the time. Stick to the facts of what happened, DO NOT LIE! You can be honest and at the same time NOT say “I’m sorry” or “that was my fault.” Soon you will have a chance to speak to both insurance companies. That will be the time to offer your opinion on who’s fault it was.
- Do Not Get into an argument or escalate the situation with the other driver. If you sense the other driver is irate or intoxicated, it may be best to stay in your separate corners until the authorities show up.
- Do Not, even though this is semi new to our culture, but DO NOT post pic’s or info on social media about the accident, or any aspect of your health. That’s public record material. That info can and will most likely be used against you later.
Now let’s be proactive, these are the things you NEED TO DO after an accident AT THE SCENE.
Do These Things At the Scene of The Accident:
- FIRST, OF COURSE DO Call for emergency medical help immediately if it has been determined that injuries exist!
- DO Contact the Police every time without exception. Let them tell you they are on “cold reporting” or whatever the case may be, but absolutely CALL THEM.
- DO Take photos of the scene AND the vehicles, look for any witnesses and get their statements and contact info.
- DO Collect the other drivers info. You need the Drivers Name and Driver’s License Number, Insurance Company and Policy Number, Vehicle license Plate Number, and a Contact Phone Number.
- DO Remain calm. I know it’s a tough time to be level headed but breathe and let your mind think clearly about what you are doing. Do Not Panic! We all know the human brain does not function well in a panicked state.
If the police will not come to the scene for whatever reason – VERY IMPORTANT TO DOCUMEANT THAT!
If the police will not come to the scene for whatever reason, as soon as you’re home safe YOU MUST GO ONLINE AND FILE A POLICE REPORT. When I say YOU MUST, I MEAN IT! The other driver will file one and if you don’t the authorities have no choice but to use the information on the report from the other driver. That might not be in your best interest. You need to tell them your side of the story.
Those are the basic Do’s and Don’ts, follow those instructions PLEASE.
Bonus info for those reading this to the end
But here comes the most valuable tidbit that I’ve learned about claims in my twenty years.
If the other driver admits fault for the accident, or you are positive it was their fault, engage them and ask if they would call their insurance company and tell them it was their fault. Don’t press too hard, but ask. If you can get them to agree to do that, and they do it right there at the scene, your claim will usually be as smooth as glass. In fact, the insurance company may be ready to start your claim that same day if their insured admits fault.
These are very important tips and procedures to follow. Do them and you won’t be sorry.
As always, hope this was informative, and you made it through to the end.
Please call us at 719-667-1301 if you have any questions about insurance and financing vehicles, we’d love to help you out.
Stay Tuned for more helpful Insurance Information soon.