Being in an auto accident can make you feel totally helpless, like you have suddenly lost control of your life. Do you have injuries? Do your passengers have injuries? You do know that your auto looks like a pile of crumpled-up metal, and then there remain the other vehicles and people involved in the accident. Did this really just happen? You’re probably in a state of shock but you remember there are some things that you’re supposed to do when you’re in an auto accident. You, as the driver, are supposed to be the responsible one and you realize that you must stay calm so that you can first of all check on everyone to see who needs immediate help. Someone has called 911 and the ambulances and the police are on their way if necessary.
Now you must start thinking about the evidence you need to collect for your insurance company to prove your innocence in the situation. If you have remembered to put an emergency kit into your car, it is now time to get out the disposable camera and start taking pictures of the vehicles, any skid marks, of anything that pertains to the accident.
After taking the necessary photos of the accident you need to think about moving vehicles if this was a small accident. If the accident is more serious it is not a good idea to move any of the vehicles. You should go back to your emergency kit and get out the flares and any items to help warn traffic that there was an accident. The positioning of these warning devices is important to keep other vehicles from becoming part of this accident.
If this was just a small fender bender the police will probably not respond so you need to gather all the pertinent information from any other drivers involved and also any witnesses to the accident. Also, if the police did not come to the scene you will need to file a report. This can be accomplished by either going to a police station if one is close or by making a phone call and filing a report that way.
What you say at the scene of any accident can be extremely important later on if there is a question regarding liability. You should never say that the accident was your fault and don’t discuss the details of the accident with anyone besides your insurance company and a police officer if they have come to the site of the accident. Also, it is important that you do not make any under the table deals with the other driver or drivers because they don’t want any record of the accident reported to their insurance company. You should be very wary of anyone offering you cash at the scene of an accident. First of all, it is not legal and secondly you do not know if someone is injured just because you don’t see any blood. People are always skeptical when someone says “whiplash” but there actually is an injury caused to the neck during a certain type of accident which may not actually show up until after the person gets home. They may go to sleep that night with no pain, and wake up in the morning with a severely stiff and painful neck. Also, your vehicle might seem okay on the outside but what if the accident damaged something under the hood that doesn’t show up until you actually drive the car.
This is the time when you are actually happy that you paid the higher insurance premium to cover towing and also the auto rental reimbursement option. If you car is in the shop for even a day it will be of great assistance to you to have a rental car paid for by the insurance company so that you can go about your business as usual until your car is repaired. There two options will have saved your hundreds of dollars that it costs to have your car towed to a shop for repairs and the high costs of renting a car.