Tips for Getting Rammed: How to Report a Car Accident

There are over six million car accidents every year in the US. And the odds are you’ll be in one of them at least once every 18 years. No matter who you are, the statistics suggest a car accident is inevitable.

That’s why it’s a good idea to know what to do in a car accident before it happens. Even a simple car accident can be traumatic. If you’re unprepared, you may make bad decisions that lead to legal or financial complications.

Take a moment to learn the car accident procedure. You’ll ensure your insurance company has the information they need and disallow others from taking advantage of you.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about what to do in an accident as well as how to report a car accident.

What to Do After a Car Accident

A car accident can be complicated. Prepare yourself in advance so you make the right decisions. Here are the four things you should do immediately following an accident.

1. Get Off the Road

Take stock of the situation after an accident. If your car is functioning and you haven’t suffered serious injuries, move your vehicle to a safe location. You and the other driver could cause another accident by leaving your idle vehicles on the road.

A safe location varies depending on the site of the accident. Look for the nearest parking lot or drive your car to the far side of the road. No matter where you stop your vehicle, be sure to turn your hazards on and set warning cones if you have them.

2. Communicate With Passengers and Drivers

Once you’re safe and out of the way, it’s time to check on the other drivers and passengers. Ensure that everyone is in good shape. If someone has life-threatening injuries, contact an ambulance immediately.

Now that you’ve checked on any immediate medical needs, you should call 911. In many areas, it’s the law to contact the police even for a minor accident. They’ll gather notes, create an accident report, and take care of any dangerous traffic situations.

3. Share Insurance Information

While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, talk with the other driver. Tensions often run high after an accident. Take care to control your temper and treat the other driver with respect, no matter who might be at fault.

You do not have to speak about the cause of the accident, and you should not discuss who is at fault. Leave that up to your insurance company.

Instead, be cordial and get information from the other driver, as well as from passengers and eyewitnesses. You should collect names, contact information, and the driver’s license plate numbers. Most importantly, also collect insurance details, such as the company and policy number.

Once you have obtained the information and given your own, use your phone to capture photo evidence of damage to the vehicles.

When a police officer arrives, be sure to get their name and badge number before you leave the scene. A police offer may not always be available in the case of a minor accident. If this is the case, you should file a report through the police station or the DMV.

4. Contact a Towing Company

If your vehicle is operable, you are free to leave the scene once you’ve shared information and collaborated with the police. However, you’ll have to call for a tow if you can no longer drive your vehicle.

Most insurance policies will cover the cost of the tow as well as any expenses while the vehicle sits in the towing company’s lot. When you call for a tow after an accident, most tow truck drivers will offer to drive you home. But to be safe, you may want to contact a friend or family member instead.

How to Report a Car Accident

Once you’ve left a scene, you need to file your claim. Read on for more information about what to expect and how to deal with the insurance company.

File a Claim With Your Insurance Company

Don’t wait. Most auto insurers have a variety of venues to file your claim. You should choose one as soon as you leave the scene of the accident and return home.

In general, your insurance company will take claims over the phone, online, or through their mobile app. The process is simple. You’ll provide a description of the events, as well as the information you collected from the other driver.

From there, the insurance companies will negotiate to determine fault and claim coverage. Pay attention to your health the days following an accident. Although you might have felt fine at the time, some injuries require a few days to become noticeable.

If you’re unhappy with the settlement resulting from the accident, don’t accept it! You may not receive anything at all if the other driver doesn’t have a proper insurance policy. View here and contact an experienced car accident attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Filing a Claim as a Passenger

You have several options if you’re a passenger injured in a car accident. You could file a third-party insurance claim against the other driver’s insurance. Keep in mind that you’ll have to share the maximum coverage of that driver’s bodily injury liability.

You may have to make up the difference by filing against your friend’s insurance. If your state uses MedPay or PIP, you can even use your own car insurance to receive compensation.

Since the laws and situations vary, the best option is to contact every insurance company related to the accident and let them know you were injured in the crash. They’ll negotiate between themselves to determine who is paying for your injuries.

Car Accidents Can Happen to Anyone

It’s best to be prepared in case the worst occurs. Nobody enjoys dealing with an insurance company or an angry driver. If you know how to report a car accident, you’ll be in a better position to get through the process without any complications.

You may have to wait several weeks for the body shop to fix your vehicle, depending on the extent of the damage. Ask your insurance provider if your policy covers rental cars or other types of transportation. And remember that you can seek legal counsel should you feel an insurance company is not treating you fairly.

If you’ve found this information helpful, consider exploring other sections of our blog.

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