Wednesday, February 21, 2024

What To Do When In A Car Accident

Don't Miss

How To File A Claim With Progressive

What to Do After a Car Accident

You can file a claim through our mobile app, online, or by calling us at . Learn more about theclaims process for auto insurance.

Pro Tip:

Consider adding uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to your auto policy to help minimize your costs if you have an accident with another driver who doesn’t carry auto insurance.

Notify Emergency Services If Anyoneis Hurt

You must help anyonewhose life is in danger. You must provide physical assistance if you can, or notifyemergency services.

You must alsocontact the police, even if the injuries appear minor. They will write up an accidentreport, which will be forwarded to the Société de lassurance automobile duQuébec .

Specific rules apply if you hurt or kill an animal.

What Should I Do After A Minor Car Accident Or Fender Bender

If you’re involved in a minor accident with no injuries and minimal damage to either car, then you may choose not to file a claim or report the accident to the police. However, you should still exchange information just in case you or the other driver decide to file a claim later. For the same reason, you should also let your insurance company know about the incident.

Recommended Reading: How Long Cars Last

Collect Information On The Accident Scene

If the crash was clearly the fault of another driver, that driver must report the incident. But don’t trust them to make the report. You may only be able to prove that the accident happened with evidence. That’s why you should gather information before leaving the scene.

The following information may serve as proof of the accident, says

  • Name, address, and driver’s license number of the driver at fault
  • The name of the at-fault driver’s insurance company and their insurance policy number
  • Name, phone numbers, and addresses of witnesses and their statements about the incident
  • Pictures of the accident scene, showing the site of the damage and the at-fault driver’s license number

What To Do Immediately After The Crash

What To Do After a Car Accident

First, try your best to stay calm. Then, check that you are alright and get medical treatment if you are not. You’ll need to place a call to an emergency medical center to attend to the injured victims. Don’t move an injured person unless the situation necessitates it. Move all involved vehicles to one side of the road to avoid obstructing traffic or other car crashes.

Also Check: How Much Does A Car Salesman Make Per Car

Fake Injuries & Victims

With these types of scams, the con artist will make up or embellish an insurance claim to get a bigger payout. Here are the two main types:

Fake Injuries the con artist involved in the accident will immediately act or claim that they suffered a serious injury that is hard to actually detect or diagnose, like whiplash or back pain. They will have your insurance company compensate them for the medical bills they have in the present and future as a result of their injury.

Fake Victims after everyone leaves the scene of an accident, the con artist will file an insurance claim that they were injured in the collision even if they were not involved at all. Whether they actually were at the scene but not involved or through some other means, this is more common with online claims.

How to spot and avoid these scams? Take lots of pictures, document everything you can, and get the information of any witnesses willing to state what they saw actually happened. If anyone is reporting injury make sure you call the police to the scene even if they say not to so you have their report as evidence of who was actually present and injured. Most importantly, do not feel pressured by any threats that try to coerce you into paying anyone money outside of your insurance policies.

Did You Know?

Secure Kids Pets Elders And Disabled

Its easy after a car accident to get distracted and make mistakes you otherwise would not with loved ones and pets that might lead to additional injury.

If this is a fender bender or minor collision, dont leave young children, pets, disabled adults or non-ambulatory elders in a hot, locked car after the accident. Just as you wouldnt leave them in the car to run into a store or other business, dont leave the engine off with them in a hot car while you deal with the accident details.

If children traveling with you during the crash are young enough to be in car seats, dont remove them from the car seats after the accident. They may have injuries you cant see, so let a first responder remove them from their car seats to assess them for injuries.

Make sure other children stay in the car when its safe, so they dont they dont get injured. Do the same for non-ambulatory elders or otherwise incapacitated people traveling with you, even if they are frightened or agitated.

Read Also: How Much Money Can A Car Salesman Make

What Information Do I Need To Know About The Accident

Youll need to collect several pieces of information at the scene of the accident. This information will help you as you move through the insurance claim process. Before you leave the scene, make sure you have the following information:

  • The other drivers name and contact information
  • The names and contact information of passengers in the other drivers car
  • The other drivers car insurance company and policy information
  • The make, model and color of the other drivers car
  • The names and contact information of witnesses to the accident
  • The responding police officers name, contact information and badge number

Only speak to the other driver about the information above that youre trying to obtain. Dont discuss the accident or who is at fault leave those discussions for the police and your insurance company.

While youre waiting for the police, jot down as much information as you remember about the accident. Sketch a quick map to show the direction each car was traveling and the location of the crash. List the weather conditions at the time and any other circumstances surrounding the collision. Take pictures of both cars to document damages.

Do Keep A Journal And/or File Of Your Accident And Recovery

What To Do In A Car Accident

Make sure to write down your memories of what happened in the accident while those details are still fresh in your mind. You should keep a journal that records your injuries and the way they have impacted your normal life activities. It also a good idea to keep a file in which you can store copies of all medical bills and other receipts, accident reports, work records and correspondence between you and insurance company representatives.

Recommended Reading: How To Make The Car Freshies

Stop And Get Out Of The Road

Even if your accident was only a minor fender bender, Massachusetts law requires you to stop at the scene of an accident. Failure to stop and provide your identification and insurance information in an accident that resulted in injury or damage to personal property could result in serious criminal charges. Leaving the scene of an accident could result in fines, imprisonment, or both.

If youre unhurt and your vehicle is still in running condition, its a good idea to pull off of the road. This action can help you avoid additional injury or being involved in a secondary accident. However, its important to check for injuries before moving an individual involved in a vehicle accident. Anyone suffering neck or back pain shouldnt be moved before medical help arrives at the scene.

Call Your Insurance Company

While it may be tempting to negotiate a cash deal to avoid making an insurance claim, not notifying your insurance company after a crash can leave you liable for damages stemming from the accident.

Schipani’s insurance agent pronounced her car a total loss the cost of potential repairs outstripped the car’s value. Then, she learned the driver who had hit her had rock-bottom insurance coverage.

“They said it was possible to try to extract money from him, but it would be better for them to handle the claim, she says. My advice is to never leave the scene even for a minor fender bender without a police report, especially if it’s clearly and obviously not your fault.

In cases like Schipani’s, your insurance claims professional can help you navigate your options.

“If the other person’s insurance isn’t sufficient to cover your damages, your insurance professional can check your policy for any coverage that might address that, Luna says.

For example, if your insurance company deems you were not at fault, it may have a liability waiver so you don’t pay your deductible.

Labor Day Membership Sale

Join AARP for just $9 per year when you sign up for a 5-year term. Limited time offer.

You May Like: What Year Is My Club Car Golf Cart

What Should I Record At The Accident Scene

Its understandable to feel shaken after a car crash. Try to stay calm and remember to take down as many details as possible to help you later. You can use your phone to take pictures of the scene, the positions of the cars involved, and damage to the cars.

If you have a dash cam in your car, store the incident details and video footage. These could be used later to help decide who was liable, if required.

For all the vehicles and people involved in the accident, take down the following details or photos:

Vehicle details
  • Time and date of the crash.
  • Driving conditions, lighting and weather.
  • Road quality, such as road markings, whether its wet or muddy, repair of the road surface.
Details about vehicle damage
  • What sort of damage was caused to the vehicles.
  • Where the damage is, for example nearside front wing and door .
Details of any injuries
  • Any injuries to drivers, passengers, or pedestrians.
Contact details of any witnesses
  • Name
  • Telephone number

Avoid Roadside Discussions About Responsibility

What to Do After a Car Accident

A few years ago, Denise Schipani, 54, and her son were stopped at a traffic light near her home in Huntington Station, New York, when a car slammed into theirs from behind.

“We were jerked forward and I braked hard, stopping just as I touched the bumper of the car in front of me, she says. In that moment, I had no idea what happened, and I remember being confused that there were little pieces of black stuff all over the back seat. Turns out the back window had shattered. We were shaking, but no one was hurt.”

Schipani put on her hazard lights, double-checked that her son was OK and called 911.

“Then I approached the other driver. He tried to blame wet leaves on the road, but there were none, she says. Clearly, it was a case of him accelerating while distracted.”

Schipani correctly chose not to argue. Emotions can run high after a car accident, so if you believe the other driver is impaired or aggressive, trust your instincts, Luna advises.

“Stay in your car and don’t interact with the person, because a police intervention might be necessary, he says.

Use the AARP Auto Buying Program to purchase your next car from home

Recommended Reading: What Do I Need To Make Car Freshies

Will My Rates Go Up After I’m Involved In An Accident

If it’s determined that the accident was your fault, your rates will likely go up when your policy renews. However, you could avoid this rate increase if your provider offers accident forgiveness. Not all insurance companies charge you more for accidents that weren’t your fault but some do. Check with your insurer for more details.

Related articles

What To Do If You Are In An Accident

Being involved in a car accident is an incredibly stressful experience on its own, but having to also deal with the car insurance after can make it worse. We wrote this guide to help you through all the general steps youll have to deal with so you can be ready if you ever find yourself dealing with an accident.

Read Also: How To Make Car Freshies

Seek Medical Treatment Now And If You Experience New Symptoms Later

After a car accident in Michigan it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible even if you feel your injuries are only minor. Many injuries that initially appear to be insignificant can later cause substantial pain and discomfort. These injuries are often referred to as delayed injuries and they must be documented immediately to prove they were caused by the crash and not some other event. Its also important to return to your doctor if you experience any new symptoms that were not apparent during initial treatment.

Determine Whether Anyone Is Hurt

What to do when you have a car accident

Never leave the scene of an accident, even a minor one. Your first priority is safety everything else can wait, says Rob Luna, group manager of auto claims at the American Automobile Association in Costa Mesa, California.

“Make sure everybody’s OK and get medical assistance if you or somebody else needs it, Luna says.

Don’t Miss: Car Makes Grinding Noise When Braking And Accelerating

Additional Responsibilities: Report Your Car Accident

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90, section 26 requires any Massachusetts driver who was involved in an accident causing injury, death, or property damage equal to more than $1,000 to file a crash report with Registry of Motor Vehicles. Then, file this report within 5 days of the incident. While a police officer was likely at the scene of your accident and filed a police report, this additional form is still necessary. You must also send a copy of the report to the police department. There is no cost to file the crash report.

An automobile accident can have a major effect on your health and your financial stability. Understanding your responsibilities in those crucial first moments can help you avoid costly fines in the future. To learn more about Massachusetts auto requirements and auto insurance, visit our blog. LoPriore Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency located in the Greater Boston area. We strive to help our valued clients find the right policies to meet all of their needs at prices they can afford. Get in touch today for more information about our policies, and instant quote, or to learn how to finally find insurance that fits your lifestyle.

How Is Fault Determined

How much your insurance company pays out and how much you have to pay out of your own pocket depends on how much you are determined to have been at fault for the accident. Insurance companies in Ontario are bound by the Insurance Act to use the detailed guidelines of the Fault Determination Rules to determine fault in accidents. These guidelines contain detailed scenarios and visualizations to cover the vast majority of collisions and how to determine fault.

Here is how determining fault will impact you:

  • 0% at Fault your premiums are unaffected and your record remains clean
  • 1-24% at Fault your premiums are unaffected but it is put on your record
  • 25%+ at Fault your premiums are affected when you renew your policy and it is put on your record

In general, the determination relies heavily on whatever evidence is provided to them. If you and the other drivers involved give conflicting accounts of what happened then the fault is usually divided evenly.

If you have had a clean record for a number of years some insurance companies will have a policy to forgive your first accident or speeding ticket without it affecting your rates. You can ask your claims adjuster for more details about fault is determined and how it will affect you.

Did You Know?

Read Also: How To Charge Ac In Car

What Details Should You Take After An Accident

As a driver, you are obliged to give your name and address to anyone else involved in the accident.

You must also provide details of the vehicles owner , along with the cars registration number.

If nobody has been injured as a result of the accident, theres no legal requirement to provide details of your car insurance, but it might speed up the claims process if you exchange insurance company details and policy numbers.

It’s also worth getting their details, because it’s possible that at the time of the accident you aren’t aware of what injuries you may have suffered.

If another person has been injured, you must produce your certificate of insurance if anyone at the scene has reasonable grounds to request it.

The Road Traffic Act says that you must report the accident to a police constable or police station within 24 hours.

You can do this by calling 101, the police non-emergency number.

You should also provide details if damage has been caused to third party property or a parked car, even if there are no other people involved.

For example, leaving a note on a cars windscreen is sufficient if youre unable to locate the owner.

The police should be called if you are blocking the road or you feel you might have been the victim of a so-called crash for cash scam.

In these incidents, fraudsters deliberately crash into the vehicle in front in order to submit false insurance claims.

Finally, make notes about the accident, which might assist with the insurance claim.

Dont Forget To File A Written Report

What To Do After a Car Accident

If you have been involved in a reportable accident one resulting in death, bodily injury or property damage of $1,500 or more , you have a legal duty to file a written report with the Illinois Department of Transportation within 10 days after the accident. You can use a paper form that the responding police officer gives you or you can go online to the IDOT website.

Also Check: Get My Car Title Florida

More articles

Popular Articles