When you’re involved in an accident, the experience can wreak havoc on what was a eventful day. The accident makes your heart race, you are shaken up, and you must deal with making all of the necessary arrangements so that you can recover from the loss as soon as possible. If you want to avoid making minor mistakes that can create delays in repairing your vehicle or receiving compensation for medical bills, here are six steps every person involved in a fender bender should take:
Step 1: Pull Over and Stay Calm
You may be angry or scared and this can cause you to act irrationally. It is best to breath in and out and calm yourself down before you have any exchanges with any other parties. Be sure to turn on your hazard lights as you are pulling out of the line of traffic and to pull over safely to the side of the road if at all possible. You don’t want to get out of your car until you are well onto the shoulder. Accidents can quickly escalate because of people not pulling to the side of the road for minor accidents.
Step 2: Call the Police
If there is damage or injuries, call 911 to send an officer to the site of the scene. Police do not determine fault, but they will write a report and take statements from witnesses and the parties involved. By having a police report on file, you can help your insurance adjuster investigate the claim so that your claim is paid out much more quickly.
Step 3: Exchange Car Insurance Information
You will need information on the other party to report to your car insurer when notifying the company of your accident. Gather contact information, exchange driver license numbers, and also ask for the other party’s insurance information. It’s important to always carry your sr22 auto insurance card in Chicago or anywhere else. By having this, it will make the process of claims investigation easier for your Illinois automobile insurance adjuster once you file the claim.
Step 4: Take Photos At the Scene
If you and your passengers are not injured, make an effort to take photos of your vehicle and the scene of the accidents. Photos can act as real evidence for adjusters. You should take pictures of skid marks, glass breakage, and even the position of the vehicles at the time of the collision if possible. If you have a smartphone, you can easily take pictures on your phone. Just remember, don’t risk your own life to get pictures. Avoid stepping into lanes of traffic or putting yourself into a compromising position.
Step 5: Never Admit Fault
As you are waiting for the police to arrive or for the tow truck to come, you can make small talk but never admit fault. Avoiding this conversation will protect yourself legally. The only person to discuss the accident with should be your adjuster or possibly the police.
Step 6: Contact Your Insurance Company
Your insurance contract requires you to report your accident within 10 days of it happening. If you fail to report your accident to the DMV or your insurer, you could have problems getting reimbursed for fixing your car. Filing a claim will protect you and will also help you stay in compliance.
Be sure to verify that you have sufficient coverage before you get into an accident. If you are involved in an accident, this can help ensure you do not have to pay for damages out-of-pocket.