In a large and fast-paced world, car accidents can happen very quickly, and often when you least expect it. In the United States, a car accident occurs every six minutes. This rate is 4 times higher than in any other country, and not every driver has full coverage to weather the storm. No matter the incident, whether you are rear-ended or undergo a serious wreck due to weather, it is crucial to try and remain as calm as possible.
At the Alexander Insurance Agency of St. Charles, we recommend you take the following actions after an accident to ensure a smooth recovery process and proper documentation.
Find a Safe Place ASAP:
Right after an accident, it’s common to be in shock, so it’s best to take a brief minute to collect yourself. It is also very important to get off the road as quickly as possible, and be aware of your surroundings while not blocking traffic. If your car is immobilized, exit quickly and turn on the hazard lights to let other drivers know the vehicle is impaired.
Do a Thorough Damage Assessment:
If anyone has been injured, it’s important to get emergency help as soon as possible. Sometimes in traumatic situations, victims may not even realize that they have sustained an injury. Even if a driver or passenger is just a bit rattled but seems to be alright, it’s always best to seek the counsel of a medical professional. After you get over the initial impact, immediately replace booster and child safety seats to make sure everyone stays protected in the future.
Get a Police Report:
After an accident, dial 911 and ask for a police officer to be dispatched to your location. Even if the wreck seems minor, the police report will provide evidence for any claims that will need to be processed. Even if there is no apparent damage, someone could claim injury, or be charged with a misdemeanor offense, like a hit and run charge. A police report is your best means of defense against those who aren’t honest during the claims process.
Thoroughly Document the Accident:
After you have made sure that you and your passengers are safe, take as many photos of your car and the event as you can. It is crucial to have a record of all vehicles involved and any damage that occurred. Get documentation of the site of the accident, marks on the road, all parties and vehicles involved. Once adjusters begin doing their work, photographic documentation becomes the best means of speeding up the process.
Take a Moment to Exchange Information:
Make sure to exchange information with the other driver(s) involved and get a picture of their Photo ID and insurance card. Don’t discuss the accident, as any statements that you make can be held against you. If you have a dash cam, make sure to share that footage with the responding police officer and your insurance company (as needed), as that footage provides solid evidence that can aid in your case.
Notify Your Insurance Agent as Soon as Possible:
Some drivers may think that if an accident is not their fault, they can take a little while longer to notify their insurance company. Regardless of fault, you should definitely notify us here at the Alexander Agency within 24 hours of your accident. If you are seriously injured, notify us as soon as you are able.
We know that any car accident, small or large, is stressful and adds even more to your task list. We want to help alleviate that stress, and make sure you are confident about your car insurance coverage. Contact us today, and we’ll take a look at your existing coverage to make sure you have all you need. And, if that day comes, we’ll be there to help you through the dreaded claims process.