With 10 million auto accidents a year in the U.S., it’s likely that some day you will get into a fender bender. That’s why California requires motorists to carry auto insurance. But if you do get into a crash, what do you do?
Here are the 6 steps for handling an accident like a pro.
1. Make sure you and your passengers are safe.
If you can, move your car off the roadway, but stay close to the site of the accident. Turn on your hazard lights. If you can’t move the vehicles, when it is safe, exit the car and walk to the side of the road, out of traffic.
2. Stay calm, and call 911.
Cooler heads prevail in this kind of situation. If there are injuries, call 911 for emergency medical attention. Calling the police will bring a neutral, third party to document the scene. Don’t be pressured by the other driver to not call law enforcement.
3. Exchange information.
Make sure to get the following:
- Telephone Number
- Driver’s License Number
- Insurance Company
- Policy Number
You should also get names and contact info for any witnesses.
You don’t need a social security number to file a police report or a claim, so don’t feel pressured to give it.
4. Don’t admit fault.
Even saying “I’m sorry” can be used against you if there’s a claim. Be polite, but don’t assign blame to yourself or anyone else.
5. Document the scene.
Take lots of photos of the scene and all vehicles involved. Also make notes of things like:
- The location of the accident
- Sketch out the scene/accident
- Descriptions of the cars involved including year, make, model and color, and the events that took place
- Describe the people involved including passengers and witnesses
6. File a claim with your insurance company.
Whether it’s your fault or not, call your own insurance company as soon as possible. If the accident wasn’t your fault, your insurance company may still go to bat for you.
If you’re concerned that you might not have all the coverage you need, or you just want to shop rates, give Get Benefits a call for a free quote and plan comparison today!