No one wants to have a car wreck, but obviously there’s only so much you can do to avoid one. Sometimes it only takes an instant for a wreck to occur, but the ramifications could still be far-reaching. Wrecks are serious issues, and you need to be able to address the problem and fix any damage as efficiently as possible. Of course, your car insurance will play a key role in your recovery. However, there are a lot of other steps you have to take before you even get to the point of filing a claim.
Let’s take a closer look at what you need to do in the immediate aftermath of wrecks, so that you will never face additional challenges further down the road.
1. Never Leave the Scene of the Accident
The instant an accident occurs, immediately stop the car. Do not go any further, or attempt to leave the scene of the accident (especially if the wreck involves multiple drivers). If you leave the scene of the accident, then you could be committing a hit-and-run. This is a criminal offense in most states.
Even if you are involved in a single-car wreck, don’t attempt to drive the car home. Any existing damage might be exacerbated by continuing to drive, and this might make it difficult for you to file an accurate insurance claim when the time comes.
2. Contact the Police
Once you have a wreck, you will need to involve the police. They will need to take a report of the accident, call for an ambulance or tow truck and assist with directing traffic around the scene. Additionally, you will probably need to use the police report to prove to your insurer the circumstances of the accident, which can help them determine fault.
3. Call Your Insurer At The Scene
Your car insurance provider will need to know as soon as a wreck occurs. Usually, you should call them from the scene of the accident. They can help you immediately start a preliminary claim for your damage, and tell you what to expect as you work towards a settlement. Additionally, they will tell you how your policy covers your damage and the damage done to others’ property. They might also instruct you to take photos of the vehicle at the scene, to help document the damage.
Of course, your safety is your priority, so you should never stand in the roadway in the aftermath of the accident. Instead, move to the side of the road, out of the way of oncoming traffic. Wait there until help arrives, and remain calm by providing assistance to others, if needed.