How to respond to an accident
Having a car accident or facing a catastrophe is stressful; Even so, it is important to remain calm and focused.
What do I do after an accident?
1. Safety comes first
If the car accident is mild, move the vehicles out of traffic to a safe place.
Place the changes in “park” (park), turn off your vehicle and turn on the emergency lights.
If you have them, use cones, warning triangles or flares for added security.
2. Get help
Check for injuries; If you have doubts, call an ambulance.
Call the police, even if it is a minor accident. A police report can be very valuable in the claim process and help establish who was at fault.
3. Gather information
Gather information from others involved in the accident.
Drivers and passengers: names and contact information
Descriptions of the vehicles (make, model, year)
Driving license numbers
Insurance companies and policy numbers
Eyewitnesses: names and contact information
Location and / or direction of the accident scene
Name of the police officer and badge number.
Take pictures of all the vehicles involved and the scene of the accident, if it is safe to do so.
Do not sign any document unless it is for the police or for your insurance agent.
Be nice, but do not tell anyone that the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.
4. Submit a claim
You can start the claim process immediately at the accident site and add the details when things settle down.
File a claim online, use our easy State Farm® mobile application or call us at 800-SF-CLAIM (1-800-732-5246).
Notify your insurance agent as soon as possible.
What to do after suffering a car accident?
What to do after suffering a car accident?
Each year there are more than 12,000 car accidents in California, caused by driving at high speeds, distracted drivers, driving under the influence of alcohol or other narcotics, as well as problems in the environment. These reasons increase the probability of any person suffering a car accident.
If you have just suffered a car accident, you are likely to face feelings of fear, worry, anxiety, general malaise, or even some injuries to the body.
However, if you have the strength to get out of the car and you are in a safe place (avoid leaving it if your car does not move and you are on the road or a fast track), it will be important that you make a couple of recommendations in what you wait for the emergency services.
Check that everyone is well
Making sure that you, your passengers, and the passengers of the opposing car are well, will help determine if it is urgent to call the emergency services. The haste in these calls can save the life of someone who was seriously injured.
If a person is unconscious or has difficulty moving, it is best that the body is not moved until the paramedics arrive, as it could be a fracture that any movement could worsen.
Avoid staying in traffic
If possible, it is best to drive the car to the side of the road to prevent cars that continue to circulate in that area can impact and further injure those involved. Try not to get too far away, because you must stay on the scene until the police arrive.
Remember that accidents happen, and you are more likely to face serious charges if you run away from the scene than if you stay there. Even if the accident happened because of you and someone was seriously injured or even died, it is best not to run away from justice and cooperate with the police, fleeing from the scene will only make everything worse.
On the other hand, most of the people who run away from these scenes, end up impacting a few meters ahead, due to the adrenaline and anxiety caused by the previous impact.
Call the police
You should call the police to let them know you were in an accident. On the call they will ask if someone was injured and the exact location of the accident.
When they arrive, they must complete a report about what happened, trying to write down the names, the license plate number, and even the patrol number of the officers who arrived at the scene.
Keep calm, relax
Relaxing is the best method to avoid talking about more after an accident has occurred. It is important not to argue or apologize, as well as not blaming anyone or accepting guilt.
Many insurers take advantage of the first moments after the accident to obtain statements from the opposite party. If you make statements at once, you may later find that they were used against you to pay less compensation for the damages that occurred.
The ideal is to only talk to your insurer’s staff, the police, and preferably an experienced accident lawyer.
By providing information only to people you trust, you will avoid later surprises that accuse you of having caused the accident. Even if this happened because of you, try not to tell people outside your insurer or someone other than your lawyer.
Exchange information with those involved
It is important to obtain the names and phone numbers of each person involved in the accident, as well as obtain the name of your insurers to be in constant contact for the duration of the accident investigation.
Try to ask for this information to each driver involved in the accident:
• First name
• Insurance company
• Insurance policy number
• Driver’s license number
• Plate number
Currently, almost all have a camera phone, so it is best to use it to take pictures that reflect the state of your vehicle and that of the other person.
It is best to take them immediately after the accident if possible. Even before moving the car, try to take a couple of photos. If documented from the beginning, it will be sufficient evidence to reflect how the incident happened.
Hire an auto accident lawyer
Even an accident where no one was hurt and the cars had small scratches, can become a nightmare if you do not have adequate legal representation.
Call your insurer
It is important to inform the insurer immediately that you were involved in an accident so they can send immediate help to the place. Explain how everything happened and the injuries presented by you or your passenger