Monday, 9 May 2016

Car Accidents Happen: Learn What to Do If It Happens to You

When in a Car Accident 

when in a car accident

No matter how safe a driver you are, sometimes accidents just happen. No matter who is at fault, it is important that you follow some basic steps after an accident to make sure you claim process runs as smoothly as possible.

First, before the accident you should make sure you have all of your car insurance documentation in your glove compartment. This makes it easy to access when the authorities arrive and ask you for it. 
Remember, states now require that you have a certain amount of insurance, and not having your insurance information with you can result in a citation that you will have to appear in court to dispute. So save time and grief by having your auto insurance paperwork easily available.
When the accident does happen, remain calm. Stay at the scene of the accident until the police leave. Make sure you have gotten the name of the officer at the scene and that the officer has documented your version of the accident.


Before the officer leaves, also make sure you have gotten some sort of documentation of the other driver's address, driver's license, and insurance information.
Make sure you look at your policy and know you coverage. Write down any questions you have for the employee handling your claim. Many people can get flustered or emotional about the accident, so they often forget all of the questions they have. 
You should read over your policy to know what the conditions are, especially in the event of an accident. If you do not follow the instructions, you may not be covered. Also know what your deductible amount is and the financial limits of your coverage.


After you have written down all of your questions, it is very important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Many people hesitate to file a claim, especially if it was a minor accident, because they are afraid of their rates going up or even cancellation. 
However, many states protect the insured against higher rates or cancellation unless the accident was your fault. Plus, even if you are not at fault, it may not protect you from the other driver's medical expenses. 
You want to make sure your insurance company is informed, since the other driver's insurance company will probably be contacting your company anyhow.
If your car was damaged in the accident, mechanic bills can add up quickly. It is important to know what coverage you have for repairs and prepare yourself that if the repair costs exceed the market value for your car then it could be declared a total loss. 
Market value is not the same as what you still owe on your car, so the money you get for your car may be no where near what it will cost you to get an equivalent vehicle.

Make sure you get estimates

get several estimates for car insurance repairs
Also, some insurance companies will offer discounts if you use their approved mechanics. Make sure you get several estimates, as sometimes the discounts still may not be worth the discount or reduced deductible. 

You are in charge of the repair process, so make sure you don't allow the insurance company to bully you into turning down repairs or getting generic parts instead of manufacturer's parts. Remember, it is your car and you make the decisions about what work is done on it.

Keeping informed

Ultimately, remaining informed about what to do in the case of an accident is important to ensuring that your rights are being honored. 

If at any time you feel that your insurance company is violating your rights, you should first try to work it out with the insurance company, and if that doesn't work then contact your state insurance department. 
Stay calm and know what you are supposed to do, and you should be able to handle an accident with little further hassles.

Make sure to record all the facts of the incident