Did you know the average driver is involved in a car accident every eighteen years on average? That means that even the most cautious drivers can expect to be in several accidents throughout a lifetime – a situation that many drivers don’t expect.
The team here at Mooney Insurance in Tucson, Arizona, wants to ensure that if you ever find yourself involved in even a minor accident, you feel well-prepared to take the right steps on the scene and after the chaos subsides. We hope this quick guide is helpful for you.
Steps to Take After You’re in a Car Accident
Here are the most important things to do if you’ve been involved in an accident:
- Stop the vehicle. Never, never, never drive away without connecting with the other driver and filing a police report.
- Turn on your flashers if you’re on or near the roadway to alert other drivers to the hazard and keep you and any other people involved as safe as possible.
- Call 911. Let them know that you’ve been in an accident, describe the location if you don’t have the exact address, answer the questions asked of you by the dispatcher, and follow any instructions provided.
- Call your insurance agent. Let them know you’ve been in an accident and ask for guidance for the next steps; he or she will help you think through the situation cautiously and take the right steps during this critical window of time.
- Once the police arrive on the scene, tell them exactly what happened. If there are details you can’t recall, be honest about that rather than trying to fill in the blanks with guesses or speculation.
- Take pictures of the accident and any visible damage that occurred as a result. If you have any visible injuries, you can photograph those as well. Be prepared to share the photos with your insurance agent’s office.
- If another driver was involved, get their contact information and insurance information and share the same with them. You can use your cell phone to take a photo of their insurance card if it’s more convenient for you.
- Wait until the police officer dismisses you before you leave the scene. Once you’re home safely, work with your insurance agent to arrange vehicle repairs, any necessary medical attention, and begin the claim filing process.
Avoid These Common Mistakes
Adrenaline can lead you to make careless mistakes after an accident, and these mistakes can interfere with the police investigation or leave you liable for damages that you may not have caused.
Avoid making statements that can be construed as admitting guilt:
- “I’m so sorry; I wasn’t paying attention.”
- “This is all my fault. I shouldn’t have done that!”
- “I feel terrible! I can’t believe I caused all this damage.”
Instead, avoid small talk and speculating with passersby and the other driver. Focus your conversation on getting the details you need to file a claim. Answer the police officer’s questions briefly with facts and data.
Additionally, stand up to pressure to forego the police report. The police report is important and should be filed even if the other driver asks you not to.
To learn more about car insurance – including whether you could be paying less for your coverage – Contact Mooney Insurance today! We’d love the opportunity to help!