I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve been in a car accident before. Granted, it wasn’t my fault at all (both my opinion and the insurance company’s opinion). However, once it happened, I realized that I should have been better prepared for the car accident the day it happened. Since I realized this, I decided to make a checklist for things to have in case of a car accident.
These tips (on dealing with accidents) can make a big difference in everything from protecting yourself and your passengers to ensuring that you won’t be without a car while yours is in the shop.
Try to stay calm, stop your vehicle and check for injuries. The life and health of you, your passengers and the other people involved in the accident is far more important than the vehicle itself.
Pen and Paper
Guess what? Most people (myself included until recently) don’t carry around the necessary equipment in order to write down the other party’s information for insurance claim purposes.
These would be to take important information about the scene. Make sure you buy some pens that actually have ink in them and some decent paper in order to write the driver’s information.
Note the contact details of any witnesses such as name, address, phone number and email address so that you can follow up with them later.
While you are at the accident scene, take down driver Details of everyone involved in the accident. Don’t forget to add yours too. These details should cover the Drivers Name, driving license details and driver insurance details including the insurance company name, policy number and contact details. Finally remember to get the car license plate number and location of the collision happened.
Digital Camera or Cell phone camera
If you are carrying a camera take pictures of the accident scene, the damaged vehicles and any injuries that were caused by the accident.
This can come in quite handy in the case of a disagreement of facts over what happened at an accident. After the accident happens, taking a few snap shots of both your vehicle and the other driver’s vehicle can be great evidence if there is a trial or if either insurance agency tries to deny responsibility.
Make sure you have your insurance papers ready to give to the other party in case they need to see them. These can also come in handy to give to the Police if they arrive on the scene of the accident.
In some states, having car insurance is mandatory for the operation of a motor vehicle and you can be fined if you don’t have any insurance. Make sure you insurance paperwork is in order before finding out that it is necessary to have.
If you are involved in minor accidents and there are no serious injuries, move your cars to the side. Do not stay on the road and bother oncoming traffic. If you do such a thing, chances are that there might be more traffic accidents headed your way because of your vehicles obstructing the road.
On the other hand, if the car cannot be moved, make sure that you warn other motorists by setting out your hazard lights, cones, flares, or warning triangles.
Post Accident Follow Up
Complete your own fully detailed description of the accident as soon as possible after it occurred. You can fill this in with the details and any pictures that you took at the scene of the accident.
If you were injured then take pictures of your injuries.
Follow up with the witnesses to the accident and get their written details of the accident.
If the Police attended the scene of the accident ask for their report.
Medical Treatment & Expenses
If you were injured you will need to keep track of the following medical expenses and visits:
- Any hospital visits and treatments at hospitals such as MRI, x-ray, physiotherapy and laboratory services.
- Over the counter and prescription medications.
- While you are undertaking medical treatment you should take pictures of your injuries to show their progress over time.
- Keep track of all other expenses related to the accident such as property damages such as car repairs, damage to barriers, fences and signs.
- Some other indirect expenses may also occur such as a cancelled vacation due to injuries sustained in the accident or the cost of a rental car while yours is repaired.
- Finally there are other miscellaneous costs, such as ointments,lotions to treat your injuries and bandages.
We sincerely hope you never need this advice, but if you are involved in an accident it’s comforting to know that we are here!