Thursday, May 30, 2013

What You Should Do In An Auto Accident

With a country that mostly relies upon automobiles for transportation, there is a very good chance in your life that you will have at least a few auto accidents.  Either your fault, or the fault of someone else, it's just a matter of time.  Here are some tips to keep in mind before you get behind the wheel:

1. Always keep a pen and paper handy (laptop or smartphone works too) to record auto accident information.

2. Get a handsfree device or better yet, don't even have a phone or texting device within reach.  Distracted driving is a growing problem and cities are cracking down with major fines.  Is that call really worth it?  Probably not.

3. If you can't drive, call a cab.  If you don't feel that you are capable of driving due to exhaustion, possible intoxication, or other incapacity, use Uber or another taxi car service.  $40-50 for a cab ride home is better than $1000s in legal or other costs.

4. If you can't drive, call a friend.  Ask a favor and you might just save a life while you are at it.

If you are involved in an accident, regardless of potential fault, do the following:

1. Call the police.  It may seem like overkill, but it's a really good idea to have an unbiased third party evaluate the scene.  Police reports could prove a deciding factor in determining fault and speed the claims process.

2. Document everything about the scene.  Here's what to record, if possible:

Name of driver(s) involved
Plate Number(s)
Vehicle Identification Number(s) VINs for short
Phone numbers
Email address(es)
Color, year, make/model of car(s)
Insurance company information
Registration information (state, title, etc.)

3. Take photos of the scene (all cars involved, location, weather, notable landmarks, license plates, anything else that might be pertinent to the inevitable investigation.

4. Talk to all parties and ensure that they are ok.  Failure to acknowledge the other potential victims could lead to legal or other problems.  Don't acknowledge fault, but do show concern for the other drivers' health.

5. Go to the hospital.  You will want to get evaluated as soon as possible in case something creeps up on you later after your body has begun to calm down.  This is not only important for your health, but for any claim you make for injury.

--The Edge