Car accidents happen. Most of the time they are unpredictable and occur in a matter of seconds. You could be stopped at a traffic light when all of a sudden bam! The person behind you hits your car’s bumper. Do you know what to do next in case of a car insurance claim? Most of us don’t, but being prepared can make a world of difference when it comes to getting what’s owed to you under your policy.
If you are ever in an accident, follow these important steps on what to do next.
- Pull over. If possible, drive your car to the side of the road so you are safely away from traffic.
- Check for injuries. Make sure everyone in your vehicle is okay and does not require immediate medical attention. Then, if it’s safe to get out of your vehicle, check on the other party involved in the crash. If anyone appears seriously injured, do not attempt to move them. Instead, you should call 911 immediately.
- Alert the authorities. If there are no medical emergencies, call your local law enforcement to have an officer come to the scene. If you don’t know the number, call 911.
- Take notes and pictures. While you are waiting for an officer to arrive, take pictures of your vehicle, other vehicles involved and the surrounding area where the crash occurred. Gather pertinent information including:
- Driver’s name, license number, license plate, address, phone number, insurance provider and policy number
- Date, time and location of accident
- Weather (rain, hail, fog)
- Damages to vehicles, road signs or landscape
- Once an officer arrives on scene, provide him/her with details of the crash. As challenging as it is, remove any emotion or guilt when you provide your statement. Stick to the facts only and try to remain calm.
- Call us and let us know about the accident. You can do this later in the day, after the accident. We’ll advise you on next steps for filing a claim.
An auto accident can deliver a great deal of stress. One thing to remember is that you should not post about the accident on social media. Anyone can access your post once you share it online, including an opposing attorney or the other party’s insurance company.
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Rob Macoviak is the President of Oyer, Macoviak and Associates. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates is the oldest independent insurance agency in Boynton Beach and has been in business since 1953.