Accident: What to Do?
Driving a car you have chances to be involved in an accident, no matter how experienced driver you are. If it has happened, don’t lose your head and do your best to reduce harmful consequences. You should take the following steps:
1. First of all, call 911. If any one is injured, he needs a medical care. In any case, you need to get a police officer to the accident’s place.
2. Get other driver’s and his passengers’ information: their names, addresses, phone numbers and license plate number. If the driver has insurance, get his insurance information: the company name, policy number and phone number.
3. Get the names, phone numbers and addresses of any witnesses that have seen the accident.
4. Never say that the accident was your fault, even if you think so. Or force others to admit their guilt. The police and the insurance companies should decide who caused the accident.
5. Write down the investigating police officer's name and badge number. You need to get Police’s official report later. Besides it is illegal to leave the scene before police arrive.
6. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Your insurer may also want to investigate the accident, if there was much damage.
7. Get in touch with the other driver's insurance company. Especially if you are sure the other driver was at fault. In that case his insurer will cover all payments that concern with repairs to your car.
8. Choose a workshop. Get to know whether a specific shop is written into your policy or not. If there are no additional conditions in your auto insurance policy you can bring your car to any shop you think fit. But if the repairs to your car cost more than the insurance company’s estimation, you’ll have to pay the difference.
9. Consider a filing a claim necessity. You may pay for all the repairs out of your own pocket, if it exceeds your deductible a little. In that case, the insurance company will not raise its charge and you’ll be able to save on auto insurance premiums next time.
10. Obtain copies of all files. Get copies of: the police report, the complete claim file, and any other documents related to the accident including medical and repair bills. You may require this information predominantly if you have any problems with insurance payments.
11. Think about getting a lawyer. If the accident has been small, you needn’t legal help. You may need a lawyer if:
- the accident was major or someone was hurt;
- the other driver was uninsured;
- you haven’t got any of the benefits, which has been written into your auto insurance policy. But be ready to give a lawyer 25 percent of money from insurance.