There are over five million auto accidents in the United States every year. Approximately 32,000 of these accidents are fatal. In order to protect yourself at the wheel, do your research. Insurance can be a very tricky thing when you don’t know where to begin. Know the facts about auto accidents so that if you’re ever in one, you’ll know exactly what to do. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about auto accidents.
What is the first thing to do after you’ve been in an auto accident?
Immediately after an auto accident, call the police and check the car to see if anyone needs urgent first aid. Depending on what kind of medical attention is needed, you may or may not be able to help the injured party. Let the emergency dispatcher know if you’re in need of an ambulance. If any of the cars in the accident are a dangerous threat to oncoming traffic, move them. Otherwise, leave the cars where they are until the police arrive.
What should you do while you’re waiting for help?
While you’re waiting for the police, start gathering some crucial information. Exchange names, addresses, and insurance information of all involved parties. Record VIN numbers and license plate numbers of the cars involved. Assess the damage and take pictures of the scene. Try not to talk about the accident with the other parties. Allow the authorities to be present before you discuss the accident.
What happens once law enforcement arrives?
The police will get an official statement of the accident. If you are unable to talk to the police due to injury, get the medical attention you need first.
What determines who is at fault?
In most states, the insurance companies of both parties will determine who is liable for what in the accident. Who is at fault will be determined by your state and negligence laws. Your lawyer will be able to guide you on how to present your case.
What information is needed to file a claim?
Although insurance companies may vary, you will generally need to have:
- Police report number and name of police department
- Your insurance policy number
- Location and date of the accident
- Description of how the accident happened
- Information of involved parties (name, address, license plate, and insurance information)
What do you do when the other party doesn’t have car insurance?
Although everyone is required to have car insurance, you may run into someone who doesn’t have any. Your insurance may cover your injuries if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your policy. The damage to your car may be covered under the collision insurance in your policy.
What do you do if you are the victim of a hit and run?
Locate any witnesses of the accident and try to determine who caused the accident. In some cases, the uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage will cover a hit and run.
Can an insurance company cancel your policy if a claim is filed?
It is a little known fact that an insurance company can cancel a policy at any time. However, this usually only occurs when a driver shows risky behavior such as DUI or filing multiple claims.