If you ever get in a car accident in Charlotte, NC or any other location, don’t panic. Think straight. Remember that you have auto insurance to protect you from the financial impact of the accident.
But first things first; you have to make sure you have all the information you need to file a claim. Here’s what you need to do should you get involved in a car accident:
1. Check for Damage or Injuries
The first thing you need to do is to check everyone for injuries. Inspect yourself, your passengers, and everyone in the other driver’s vehicle. Then, assess the extent of damage on your car.
2. Call the Police
Notify the police and if possible, don’t move the vehicles until they arrive at the scene. Be as accurate and detailed as you can when you tell the police what happened. Don’t forget to ask for a copy of the report for your own record. You’ll need a legal report to file a claim later.
3. Limit the Conversation with the Other Party
If your insurance policy states that you must not assume responsibility for an accident, do so. Do not discuss who’s at fault with the other party. Only talk to the police, medical professionals, and your insurance company about it.
4. Get Facts of the Accident
Once you check yourself for injuries and notify the police, get all the information you can get. Take note of the date and time the accident happened. Document other details such as lane markings and traffic signals in the area.
Talk to the other driver and ask for the following information:
- Name and address of the driver
- Phone number and other contact information
- Name of his or her insurance company
- Car description, plate number, and registration information
You can also take pictures at the accident scene using your smartphone. This will serve as proof of the damages you incurred after the accident.
5. Contact Your Insurance Company
It’s best to call your insurance company while you’re at the scene of the accident. They will be able to tell you what you should do, what information you will need, and what not to do after the accident.
6. Keep an Accident Log
Continue documenting everything after the accident. You should keep a log of the accident. This includes a legal report from the police, your medical bills, and receipts of car repairs you spent using your own money.
7. File a Claim
Once you have the necessary details, fill up the required forms so that you can make a claim. Your auto insurance company should be able to guide you on the steps you need to take.
You’ll never know when a car accident will occur. The smart thing to do is be prepared every time. This will protect you from the financial impact a road mishap brings. Never admit responsibility right away when you get caught in an accident, especially if your lawyer is not around. If you want to file a claim, let your insurance company handle the negotiation.