While getting into a car accident is never a POSITIVE experience, there are some things you can do to help the process go a little more smoothly if you are involved in one.
Below is a list of 5 things you need to know if you get into a car accident:
1. You have to stop-Even if you donít think the incident was serious, if you collide with another vehicle, you absolutely must stop. This is the law and if you continue driving, the penalties can be severe, even including jail time depending on the severity of the collision.
2. You should collect the other driverís information-No matter who was at fault, both parties have the right and responsibility to collect information from each other. This includes insurance information, full name, address, make and model of the vehicles, and the names of anyone else who was in the vehicles at the time of the accident.
3. You should contact the police-Securing an ACCIDENT REPORT from the police is always a wise idea following an automobile accident. The police officer will secure proper information from all parties involved in the accident, will give each of you a copy, AND will make the information available to the insurance companies as well. A police officer on the scene of an accident can help calm any tensions and ensure that everything is handled as it should be.
4. You should take pictures-Taking pictures of the damage done to all vehicles is another smart idea. This will allow you to offer photo evidence of what occurred and help corroborate the events as told to either the police or the insurance company. Having photographic evidence can also often speed up the claims reimbursement process as well.
5. You may be eligible to collect lost wage reimbursement-When involved in an automobile accident, aside from the damage to your vehicle and the possible injuries you incur, another unfortunate outcome can be the loss of wages. IF you are away from your job during the time of the collision or laid up recovering from an injury afterwards, the wages you lose could be significant and financially harm you and your family. The good news is that insurance can often help provide those lost wages for you. In a FAULT state, such as California, the BODILY INJURY portion of the policy of the person who was at fault is used to pay for lost wages for the other party. Even if you were at fault for the accident, your insurance policy may offer reimbursement for lost wages under PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION or another similar coverage.
While each of us hopes to never be involved in a car accident, the chances are great that one day it will happen. Knowing what to do and then doing those things can help make the situation go as smoothly as it possibly can.