Drivers are in an accident on average, once every 7 years so it’s no wonder that people forget what to do when it happens. Getting into an accident is a stressful event for anyone to begin with. Then you factor in being on your way somewhere like work, home or having the kids in the car and the stress level just goes up with each additional thing added on top of damaging your car. So it becomes very important to keep a clear head and follow a few simple instructions.
First never admit fault in the accident. Then exchange information, get the other person’s name, phone number, insurance company, policy number, get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses, and take pictures with your cell phone just in case. You will need to contact your insurance agent and inform them that you where in an accident and do the same with the other person’s insurance company. Provide all the information you gathered to both insurance companies. The insurance companies will ask you for a statement of what happened. Just give them the facts as you know them and do not give them permission to allow the other party to hear your statement. This happened to my daughter and the other party listened to her statement then basically copied what she said.
If it’s a minor accident make sure everybody is ok; then if car is still capable of moving you are required to “Steer it to Clear it”. Once you have gotten out of the traffic flow you can see how bad the damage is, determine if you need police assistance, and exchange information with the other party.
In a major accident make sure all parties involved are ok, if not dial 911 and get help on the way. If nobody is hurt call the police and wait for them to show up. After the police get done gathering information, wreckers will be waiting to tow your car away. They will ask you to sign a form and this will determine if it is a consent tow or a non-consent tow. This will make a huge difference on what they can charge you for towing your car away. A consent tow will allow them to charge basically whatever they want to and it might even be a repair authorization to have the car fixed by the body shop they tow it to. In a non-consent tow situation the fee is set by the city.
At Freedom Automotive, our clients can just tell the wrecker driver to tow the car to us and we will pay the wrecker fee. Even if it’s after hours the wrecker will take it to the storage yard then bring it to us the next business day.
In an accident with no injuries it is not an emergency so do not dial 911, call the police for whatever city you’re in and request an officer to come out.
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From: What to do in an accident by John Miller