What To Do If You Are Involved In An Auto Accident

June 4, 2017 · Posted in General Articles on Car Insurance 

When you are involved in an auto accident, everything seems to happen so quickly. You may be partially injured and confused about what happened. It is therefore important to be familiar with what is expected and required of you should you be involved in an auto accident. This will help you follow the right procedures when you are in an accident.

Be Familiar with Your Auto Insurance Policy

When you take out an auto insurance policy, know what it covers. It’s important to know if it includes roadside assistance, towing or emergency medical assistance. Does your insurance company have a hotline number that you can call in the event of an auto accident? Most insurance companies will have stickers that you can place on your vehicle which feature this number. Most companies will tell you that the first thing you need to do is to call the hotline. Familiarize yourself with the claims procedure of your insurance company.

Immediately Following an Accident

Your capabilities will depend on the seriousness of the accident. Naturally, if you or your passengers are severely injured, it is more important to get medical assistance than to sort out your car. However, if the injuries are less severe then you need to stop and assess the situation. Is it safe to remain where you are? Consider that you may have landed in the path of oncoming traffic. Personal safety comes first so make sure you can avoid any further injury. Get out of the road if possible and take your valuables such as your wallet and cell phone with you. If other vehicles are involved, check that the people are okay before doing anything else. The first thing you should do is call your insurance company. The person at the call center will be able to give you advice and guide you through what to do.

What to Do if Other Vehicles Are Involved

Most cell phones have cameras. Take a photo of the accident scene and the license plates of all vehicles involved. Next, ask to see the driver’s licenses of the other drivers. Take down their details. This should include their identity or social security number and a home, work and cell phone number as well as an address where they can be reached. Get too much information rather than too little. Also, get the details of the other drivers’ insurance companies. You will need to give them your details as well. Make a note of any other factors that may have influenced the accident. There could be oil or debris spilled on the road, a burst tire or a pothole that caused a driver to lose control of their vehicle.

Leaving the Accident Scene

Generally, you should not leave the scene until the traffic officers have arrived and given their approval for you to leave. Sometimes, if it is a simple bumper bashing, traffic officials will ask you to move out of the road so you do not cause any further congestion or possible accidents. If the vehicle can be driven and you have the okay from your insurance company, you can then drive it home. Many times though it will need to be towed. Insurance companies generally contract specific towing companies and it is essential to get the insurance company’s approval to get the vehicle towed. Often, unauthorized towing companies charge exorbitant fees and then take it to their own repair shop where they charge you storage fees. If the insurance company has not given their approval, you could end up having to pay for this out of your own pocket. You must call and personally get the towing authorization and check the credentials of the towing company when they arrive. Don’t take the tow truck driver’s word that they are approved by your insurance company.

Submitting Your Claim

Most insurance companies will ask you to complete a claim form where you have to provide the details of the accident. Make sure you complete the form with as much detail as possible. Submit the photographs you took of the scene and the other vehicles’ particulars as well. Make sure that the information you provide is accurate to avoid any delays in settling the claim. If you are dealing with a broker, they can follow up on the claim on your behalf which will make your life easier.

Real Insurance is a part of the Hollard Group of companies. The Hollard Group has offices in the United States, the UK, South Africa, Australia and throughout South East Asia and provides a wide range of insurance products and services to more than 6 million policyholders worldwide.

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