WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE AN AUTO ACCIDENT
Before an accident, the best thing you can do is have excellent auto coverage in place.
After an accident:
- Safety is the most important factor – Check on yourself and your passengers for injury. If your vehicle is operational and in a dangerous place, move it to a safer place when possible. Turn your engine off;
- If your vehicle is not in a dangerous place, leave the vehicle where it is – it may be helpful to police and others when determining how the accident occurred and who is at fault. Take photos of each vehicles position before moving them;
- Always call the police. A police report is important for both property damage and personal injury claims. It will identify all parties involved and relevant insurance policies, while creating an official record;
- Take photos. Take photos of other Driver’s License, Insurance Card, Registration and License Plate. Take photos of the accident scene, traffic control devices, position of the vehicles, property damage, impact points and any other evidence you logically believe will be helpful. With modern cell phones, this should be easy, so when in doubt take more photos not less;
- If injured ALWAYS seek immediate medical treatment. No matter how minor your injury may seem, a trip to the Emergency Room to get checked out is always a smart precaution. Often times the pain from an injury won’t manifest for a few days after the accident. Immediate medical treatment will help your pain and recover once your adrenaline wears off. Don’t worry, without exception the first $5,000 of your medical bills are ALWAYS covered by your Auto Insurance (called Personal Injury Protection (PIP)), not your Health Insurance. If you are hurt to any degree, don’t avoid the Ambulance, ER, Family Doctor, follow up appointments etc. simply because of money concerns. Unlike Health Insurance, with PIP coverage you will never incur a co-pay or deductible, EVER.
- Contact our office. We will help you with filing a claim with your insurance carrier and protect you against disclosing harmful information to the other drivers insurance carrier. Depending upon the various types of coverages in play, guarding against giving a recorded statement to the police or any insurance carrier (including yours) may be important.