There’s no getting around it: car accidents are stressful. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with a fender bender or a totaled vehicle, there are elements to this situation that are the same no matter how severe the incident. Here is your step-by-step guide to navigating a car accident when there are no obvious bodily injuries to any of the drivers or passengers involved.
Following the collision, it is ideal to move your car out of traffic if at all possible. First and foremost, pulling over will ensure that all of the other vehicles on the road experience as little interruption in their daily routine as possible. Moving your vehicle will keep traffic flowing and decrease the chances that another accident will occur as a result of any slowdown or rubbernecking.
When the affected parties move their cars out of the road, this also gives them ample opportunity to assess the damage and discuss the situation with any other drivers or passengers that were involved in the collision. There is also a chance that the drivers may be able to find types of evidence that can prove liability in a car accident, which will be helpful once law enforcement and insurance companies get involved.
Call Law Enforcement
Some drivers may debate the importance of this step, but it is always a good idea to call the police after a car accident. The officer will create a police report, and this will serve as a record of the incident. Car insurance companies will appreciate this step because it also helps to determine fault, if necessary.
If you haven’t done so yet, now is the optimum time to exchange names, phone numbers, insurance information, and anything else that may be pertinent to determining fault as well as other specifics. It is ideal for both parties to agree on a statement as to what happened, as conflicting viewpoints can hinder the process of getting the vehicles repaired and paid for so that you can move forward.
When interacting with the other party, keep the conversation very matter-of-fact. Try not to discuss who is at fault, as emotions may be running high, and conflicts are more likely to occur at this time.
Call Insurance Companies
Once you can do so, calling your automobile insurance is a good idea. If the other party is suspected to be at fault, you can also call their insurance company. You should report the collision no matter who caused it. Not only does this help you to build a good relationship with your insurance company, but it ensures that no matter who is responsible, the damage to your automobile will be covered.
Keep Detailed Records
Throughout this process, it is a good idea to keep a log of everything that you do concerning the incident. Write down each and every contact that you have with either insurance company, the police, or the other party. If you do end up getting medical attention for any reason, be sure to keep records of appointments and medications that you take as a result of the incident, even if it is only a Tylenol.
Before taking your car to get any repairs completed, be sure that you have taken detailed photographs and videos of the damage. Go one step further and record statements from any passengers or witnesses. Once the police report is available, go pick up a copy. Car insurance companies often ask for copies of the police report for their files. It is far better to have too many records of the incident than not enough information.
Despite the stress that can arise when dealing with a car accident, most people can navigate the situation without any lasting issues. Following each of these steps will ensure that the individuals involved in the incident can get their cars repaired or replaced quickly so that they can move forward with their lives.