No two accidents are alike, and for that matter, no two drivers are alike. With this in mind, no matter what the accident, who was at fault, or how things unfolded, there are some steps every driver has to take if they are involved in an accident. Here you can find out why you should take these steps, and how they will preserve your innocence (as well as the tangible information needed when filing a claim), if you are in an accident.
Remain at the scene –
Do so at least until the police arrive. Doing this preserves the scene of the accident. Your car is in the same position, if damage has occurred, it is visible, and if severe injuries, damage (or even death occurred) you can be charged with severe penalties for a hit and run. So unless you require immediate care (and need to go to the ER for severe injuries you suffered) remain at the scene.
Check your car –
If you have passengers in the car, make sure they are okay. If they require medical attention, call 911 and the police right away. But, as much as possible, preserve the scene. Don’t get out of your car and go fight with the other driver, what good will it do? Wait until the police show up, and make sure everyone is in one piece and safe.
Call the police –
Now that you know no one is in grave danger, you can call the police. They will file the reports, collect insurance, and driver information. At this point you will also exchange personal information and insurance information with the other driver. With the police present, things should go as smoothly as possible, and they are going to document in the police report (based on findings, placement of the car, damage, etc) who they believe to be at fault. This will prove very important when you actually do have to file a claim with an insurer, in the event of vehicle damage, or injuries to yourself or to your passengers.
Talk to witnesses –
If any were present, collect their information. They can corroborate your story and this will also help in the police report. The more information you can provide to show your innocence, the better it is going to play out for you.
Call your insurer –
Only when all information is collected and police reports are filed should you call your insurer. Doing so earlier can result in contradictory statements which will work against you when you need to file a claim. So wait until everything is laid out, the police have shown up, and you know everyone is safe and okay.
It is important to talk to as few people as possible, as stories will get mixed up and things might get murky at this point as well. Most people get flustered during an accident, it is normal. But, if you follow these simple steps, it will make things easier on you, and the filing process much easier when you finally do have to call your insurer.