In a country with close to 200 million vehicles plying on the roads every day, traffic accidents are quite a common occurrence. In fact, according to the reports of the National Crime Records Bureau, there are about half a million road collision accidents that occur every year. Now, with all the safety regulations being put in place, most of us are already aware as to what to do in order to be safe and avoid getting hurt in an accident. However, not many are aware as to the steps to be taken God forbid once you’re involved in one.
Even before you leave your house, there are a few checks you need to perform. Ensure that you’re covered by insurance and that you’ve got all your documents in place. Other than that, always keep a medical kit handy in your car. Then, in the event that you get involved in a car accident, however minor it be, there are certain things you ought to keep in mind and do. The very first thing to note is that you should never run away from the scene of the accident. The next thing to do, and this is just as important as the first, is to call the police. You might need the help of the police as well as a legal report if you’ve to file a claim with the insurance company.
Apart from calling the police, you should also call for medical help, even if it does not seem like you need it immediately. Often, the injuries aren’t quite apparent and could manifest after a while. So it is best that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. As for the scene of the accident, do not try to disturb it as much as you can until the police arrive. At the most, you could try to take the car off the road and out of harm’s way in case it looks like a traffic hazard.
What you can and must do, however, is take pictures of the scene and try to collect as much information as possible, especially the names, addresses and telephone numbers of everyone involved in the accident. If there are any witnesses around, try to collect their information as well. However, and this is of extreme importance, do not admit guilt or try to over-share any details regarding the incident unless you’ve got legal help. Once the police arrive at the scene and file a report, do not forget to note down that number as well, to be used for further references.
Once you’ve done all of the above mentioned things, it is important that you notify your insurance company. It is possible that you might have medical expenses, and this is usually for all occupants of the vehicle, covered by your auto insurance as well, so do check for that. Then, there’s the issue of submitting a claim for damages. Just because you’ve reported the accident to the insurance company does not mean that you need to file a claim as well, especially since insurance rates tend to increase considerably after doing so. If you feel that the damage is minor and not worth the hassle of submitting a claim, you can opt to pay for the damage from your own pocket as well. Finally, make a file and keep all the related documents safely in one place, just in case you might need to refer to them at a later stage.