Once you get that beautiful, shiny, one-of-a-kind automobile; chances that you become attached to it with the utter quickness are almost inevitable. The freedom, the exploration, the speed, and the lifestyle all contribute to how much love you have in it. Sometimes, however, the unthinkable happens and an accident occurs. Man, is it a bummer. Luckily, with insurance (and hopefully no one injured) it’s not the end of the World as you know it.
There’s a lot happening after an accident, especially since they can be scary, but no matter what happens there are a few things you should always remember once they occur. Do you stay in your car; your lane; move the car? What about taking photos and documenting the crash? Or should you install a dash cam? These are all things that you have to take into consideration so read the follow for a quick rundown of accident awareness.
First things first, call the police and report the accident and if someone is in danger, call 911 and see if you can help them without risking injury to yourself.
Second, your inner “sitting in traffic” self would probably curse out and flail your arms in a one-finger salute if you stayed in the land and impeded the flow of traffic on a busy day. However, there are certain situations where you actually shouldn’t move a muscle or your car an inch.
First off, never flee the scene. It’s irresponsible and you could be out in jail for it, even if you didn’t cause the accident. There are different thoughts on whether you should leave your car at the actual scene or safely move to the side of the road or shoulder if you can. There can also be different rules that vary by state. Usually, as long as there are no life-threatening injuries and your automobile is in a safe enough condition to continue operation, you should move to the side of the road to get out of traffic lanes. But if there are parts strewn across the road with bumpers smashed and more outstanding car issues, it’s best to leave the cars where they are and have the proper authorities attend to the scene and listen to their directions.
There’s going to be a lot going on when you first start getting your mind together after the accident, but you have to remain judicious about collecting every bit of information you can about the scene. That’s if you can of course, and aren’t injured. Unfortunately, in modern times some people are quick to alter the truth and offer alternative facts as to what actually happened. It’s good if you can back up your story with as much info as possible.
Jot down the time, weather, traffic, and any other pertinent location based information. Once you and the other driver(s) meet, make sure to get their name, address, telephone, driver’s license information, and insurance company info. Write down their car(s) information as well with year, make, model, and license plate. If there are passengers, it’s probably worth it to get their information as well.
Witnesses are also important to the accident claim. If someone is outside to help out, get their information as well—if they can wait and assist the police, even better. Once the police arrive, get their information as well as when and how you can get the accident report. Finally, drawing what happened during the accident will help you later to recall the events of the day. The brain has a funny way of blocking traumatic incidents!
This is pretty self-explanatory but make sure to report the accident as soon as you can to your insurance company and provide them with all of the information you wrote down. The more information you have, the greater chance there will be to make the whole process as seamless as possible. You also have to make sure to report the accident to the DMV, even if you don’t want to. The exception to the rule is if no one was injured and the accident damage is below $750. However, you only have 10 days to report and sometimes it’s hard to tell immediately how much damage will be. If you fail to report to the DMV, you could face license suspension.
Sometimes when accidents occur you feel totally fine, and that’s mainly due to the adrenaline surging through your body. However, sometimes the injuries—no matter how minor the accident may seem—can be underlying and internal rather than outright visible. Contact a physician to check you over to make sure there’s nothing going on within your body. There’s a lot that can suck about an accident, but not taking care of something that’s affecting your body can be even worse.
If you travel a lot and want to have even greater security when submitting your claim, you could pick up a dash cam. Dash cams are becoming more and more common (we’ve all seen those crazy Chinese and Russian videos) because video is a much easier way to keep you covered in case of fraud or someone else’s story conflicting with yours.
Modern dash cams are affordable enough (some less than $50), provide great picture resolution, and are easy enough to set up daily to use in your defense. Dash cams are great because if you hardwire them into your vehicle’s engine systems, they will automatically start and stop based on whether the ignition is on or off. And because most of them use software to automatically overwrite old footage, you won’t need to worry about deleting footage. Just get in and go.
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