Immediately following a car accident, the most important thing is to ensure everyone involved is safe. If any injuries exist, be sure emergency services are called immediately so medical care can be administered as quickly as possible.
If, thankfully, no one is seriously injured in the accident, you may find yourself wondering about the next steps once the dust settles and your adrenaline surge is gone. In general, they can be broken down into three categories.
First and foremost, ensuring everyone is safe and remains safe is the priority. If you were involved in a minor accident, it may make sense to move the vehicles to a side road or the median of the road to clear the way for traffic and ensure a minor accident doesn’t turn into a major one involving additional vehicles.
Information is power. When you’re talking to your insurance company or law enforcement authorities, having as much information as possible may keep from being held accountable for an accident you didn’t cause and protect your financial interests. In additional to the well known advice to obtain the name, license number, tag number, insurance information, etc. for any other drivers involved, don’t forget to pull out your phone. Most phones now have cameras, and a few quick snaps of the accident scene may go a long way to establishing the circumstances of the accident.
It may seem natural to jump out of the car and say, “I’m so sorry,” if you’re responsible for a fender bender – or even if you aren’t – but try and resist the urge. Your possibly innocent expression of regret can be construed as admitting fault for the accident. Try to keep interactions with other people involved in the accident confined to ensuring safety and exchanging necessary contact and insurance information. It’s also important to communicate clearly and politely with any law enforcement officers called to the scene. Finally, communicate with your insurance company. Most insurance carriers have 24-hour claims adjustors who are available to walk you through your claim and help make the process as painless as possible for everyone involved.
For additional questions or comments, please contact me at Dimmitt Insurance:
Elizabeth Staley, Private Client Account Manager
25191 US Hwy 19 N
Clearwater, FL 33763