Thousands of car accidents happen every year, ranging from fender benders to life-threatening casualties. There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself while saving time, money and frustration, so if you ever find yourself in a car accident, be aware of these life saving tips:
Don’t Leave the Scene
No matter how serious your car accident is, you are legally obligated to stay at the scene until proper authorities show up. Anytime you make contact with another car, it can be considered a car accident. No matter what the degree of damage, consider it important and stay with your car to avoid any further financial difficulties.
Do Not Let Others Move You
If you are in a car accident that leaves you conscious, but injured, others may want to help you move. Do not let anyone but a trained professional move you, as you can suffer not only further injury, but your insurance claim may be hindered or determined invalid.
Place Safety First
Listen to your intuition. If it is dark outside and you feel uncomfortable getting out of your car, stay inside it. Always try and pull your car off the road, if possible, and have your identification papers in order for when the authorities show up. If the driver of the other car gets out, roll down your window only a bit to talk with him or her.
Day or night time, put your hazard lights on to let other drivers notice your disabled vehicle. If you are outside of your car, try tying a safety flag to your antenna or putting cones behind your car as other safety precautions.
Call Your Agent
One of the first things you need to do after any accident is call your insurance agent. Many companies not only offer roadside assistance, but can notify the authorities about your incident for you. Additionally, they can get your claim paperwork started.
Exchange Driver's Information
While waiting for the authorities to show up, if you feel comfortable enough, get out of your car and meet with the other driver. You’ll want to exchange some of the following information:
- Phone numbers
- Insurance companies and policy numbers
- License plate numbers
- Driver license numbers
Be sure to also write down the accident location, how it happened and details of each other's cars, such as color, make, year and model.
Have A Communications Device Available
When traveling anywhere, whether to your local store or across the country, be sure to have a way to communicate with the outside world while on the road. Be it a smart-phone, on-board communication system or a CB radio, you need to have a way to contact the authorities quickly and securely.
Have visual proof. Take pictures of the accident scene including damage to the cars to ease the claim filing and adjustment process.
Protect yourself thoroughly by telling the authorities your side of the story with as many details as possible. This, combined with safety and visual proof will leave little to guessing and will ease the claim process. Contact us for more information on San Francisco auto insurance.