According to the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 6.7 million car accidents in the United States in 2018, with more than 2.7 million people injured – or a little less than 1 in 3 drivers or passengers.
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is imperative that you proactively protect yourself and your interests from the moment the accident occurs. This begins by NEVER driving away from the scene, by ensuring that everyone is safe and that the cars and/or occupants are moved to safety – away from moving traffic or other potential danger, if possible.
To ensure you offer your insurer your complete assistance, there are several prudent measures you can take to protect and preserve the accident scene and your rights as a licensed and insured driver.
- Set up flares or turn on the car’s flashers to help prevent further accidents/incidents. If possible, leave the accident scene untouched – if this does NOT pose a threat of danger or continue to impede traffic.
- Maintain an even keel on your emotions to the best of your ability at all times.
- Call 911 – even if there are no injuries and request that the police issue an official report of the incident as you will need that police report when filing a claim with your insurance provider.
- Notify your insurance company as soon as safely possible. A knowledgeable, licensed insurance agent will help manage the situation and your expectations. Remember, many policies require the insured to report accidents immediately.
- Document the accident scene. Fortunately, cellphones are always within reach to record the physical damage and the entire accident scene. Note, however, it is crucial to videotape or photograph the scene without interfering with the police investigation. All visible injuries should be photographed as soon as safely possible.
- Exchange information with the other driver(s). The responding officers typically do this. Still, if the police do not respond, you should gather the name/phone number/address of all drivers, passengers and pedestrians involved – plus any witnesses that may be needed by your insurance company or attorney. It is critical to get the other driver(s)’s insurance info – snapping a quick pic of their insurance card is fastest.
- Be accurate when explaining what happened to the police. Do not speculate and tell the responding officers when you do not know specific facts. If you are uncertain if you have been injured – because pain may not manifest for hours or days after an accident – be clear when stating this to the officers. Do not admit to any actions until you have spoken with your insurance agent or lawyer.
- Ask for the police report as soon as it is available. If the accident occurs on a state highway, the police report must be obtained from the state law enforcement agency.
- Seek medical attention, even for minor accidents, if you lost consciousness or were dazed. Many people involved in car accidents do not experience pain or symptoms until hours and even days after the event.
Car accidents are often overwhelming and stressful, even when there is only minor property damage. Make sure you have the right insurance team to support you during the claims process. Car owners in North Prairie, Wisconsin, and the many surrounding communities have trusted the personalized and professional services offered by Wolfgram Insurance Agency for decades. Contact us today for a no-cost, online, no-obligation automobile insurance quote.