Hey car accidents happen, that’s life. As your local independent insurance agency we want to be there to help get you back on track. While our New Jersey auto insurance coverage can take care of you after an accident, what do you do when they actually happen? Here are six great tips when dealing with car accidents.
How To Deal with Car Accidents:
1. Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Glove Compartment. Drivers should carry a cell phone, as well as pen and paper for taking notes, a disposable camera to take photos of the vehicles at the scene, and a card with information about medical allergies or conditions that may require special attention if there are serious injuries. Also, keep a list of contact numbers for law enforcement agencies handy.
2. Keep Safety First. Drivers involved in minor accidents with no serious injuries should move cars to the side of the road and out of the way of oncoming traffic. Leaving cars parked in the middle of the road or busy intersection can result in additional accidents and injuries. If a car cannot be moved, drivers and passengers should remain in the cars with seat belts fastened for everyone’s safety until help arrives. Make sure to turn on hazard lights and set out cones, flares or warning triangles if possible. When help, or law enforcement arrives, follow their instructions.
3. Exchange Information. Your emotions could be in a flurry after an accident, but it is important to keep calm and exchange the following information: name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver license number and license plate number for the driver and the owner of each vehicle. If the driver’s name is different from the name of the insured, establish what the relationship is and take down the name and address for each individual. Also make a written description of each car, including year, make, model and color — and the exact location of the collision and how it happened. Finally, be polite but don’t tell the other drivers or the police that the accident was their fault, even if you think it was.
4. Photograph and Document the Accident. Use your camera to document the damage to all the vehicles. Keep in mind that you want your photos to show the overall context of the accident so that you can make your case to a claims adjuster. If there were witnesses, try to get their contact information; they may be able to help you if the other drivers dispute your version of what happened.
5. File An Accident Report. Although law enforcement officers in many locations may not respond to accidents unless there are injuries, drivers should file a state vehicle accident report, which is available at police stations and often on the Department of Motor Vehicles Web site as a downloadable file. A police report often helps insurance companies speed up the claims process.
6. Know What Your New Jersey Auto Insurance Covers. This is where we come in. If you don’t know what your policy covers or the questions about coverages call us at (732) 680-4444. We will fill you in on all of the specifics.
“Getting coverage with American Insurance Services Agency
can make you feel like an apex predator…” – Andrew Detmer