Nobody ever plans or wants to be involved in a car accident. Their very nature means that they are unpredictable and can cause you many problems. However, it is always good to have a plan prepared in case things go wrong.
Worse than this, there is a lot more to an accident than just the incident itself, there is also the recovery, the therapy, and the potential law case. If you need to go to a lawyer, then you need to find a qualified Phoenix car accident lawyer to help you out. This can be overwhelming in itself. So, if you are feeling concerned about a car accident or have been through one yourself then here is a little advice for you to consider.
The first thing you should do is to stop your car as soon as you possibly can as long as it is safe for you to do so. Once you have done this, you can turn on your hazard lights and importantly, turn off your engine. Providing that there is no traffic, now is the time to move to a safe area but not leave the scene. This is important because in some areas of the world if you leave the scene of an accident, you can be put in prison for up to 6 months and receive a point on your license.
Check the area for danger
If you are unable to stop your vehicle immediately, you should try and move your car away from busy roads and traffic. If you are unable to do this then you need to make the space as safe as possible not only for yourself but for other drivers. When you are safe, you should make sure to check for any injuries to yourself, your passengers, and anyone else involved in the accident.
Calling the emergency services
Once you have identified the injuries or hopefully lack thereof, to you and your passengers, then you can begin to call the emergency services. If someone has been hurt, it is vital that you contact the ambulance and health service as soon as possible. The police will likely arrive not long after whether you have called them or not. Make sure when you are calling them to make separate calls so that they can be logged. This is also helpful if anyone in the area is being aggressive or failing to cooperate. You are obliged to report an accident or crash within 24 hours to your insurance company by law, no matter who was at fault.
The next thing that you need to do is to exchange details with anyone else involved in the accident. It is a legal requirement and so it is an offense not to do this. You will need everyone’s details in order to make a claim on your insurance. You need to make sure to ask for things like their full name, address, phone number, insurance details, and car details. A crucial thing to remember is not to admit fault or apologize. This may be used against you at a later date.
Extra information to collect
As well as all of the above details, there are many things you should begin to collect notes on or take photographs of that will help your claim in the future. The more information you have, the easier it will be to claim on your insurance. If there are any witnesses to the crash, it is well worth getting their details so that they can corroborate your story and help your claim not be rejected as fraudulent.
Vital pieces of information to collect include an account of the incident from the very beginning to the incident itself and to what happened afterward. Make sure that you make a note of the time and date of the accident and take a photo of the weather conditions or anything that may have contributed to your accident. You can also take this time to document the damage done to you and your property. It will again help to make things easier in the future when making a claim.
Making a claim
It is good to know that many insurers are not fazed by hearing that you have been in a car accident. The thing is that accidents happen all the time and sometimes they are nobody’s fault. It is the reason that everyone has insurance on their car. An insurance company will only want to help you get back out onto the road. When making a claim, you should present all of the evidence that you gathered on the day and any follow-up events that have taken place since then. Make sure that you let them know if the police were involved or if there were any witnesses.
If you cannot drive your car
Once the police and ambulance service has been and gone, your car will likely be picked up and taken to an approved garage to be repaired and to have the damage assessed. If it is part of your policy, you may be offered a courtesy car to be loaned to you so that your life faces as little disruption as possible. Unfortunately, your car will not always be able to be repaired and in these cases, your car is classed as written off. If this happens to you then your insurer will likely send you the value of your car at the time of the accident to help you purchase your next vehicle. The sad truth is that this money is not always a lot and may not get you back on the road.
Being in an accident
There is not a day that goes by that somebody thinks that they will get into an accident. It is because of this, that people are never prepared for when it happens. Make sure that you know what to do if you find yourself in this situation and hopefully, you can minimize the impact it has on your life.