Being in a car accident can be tough on you and not only could it affect you physically, sometimes it always hurts you mentally. In the United States alone, there are over 6 million accidents a year. That’s over 16,000 accidents a day. This is an unfortunate stat as you are highly likely to get into an accident, and more likely if you drive from 3 to 6 pm during the week. Regardless, it is still good to know what to do in case you do get into an accident. Having knowledge of what to do next can place you more at ease. Not only that, many people fear their auto insurance company from what they hear, but we want to help you understand what you need to do.
So, Someone Hit Your Car, What’s Next?
The first thing you want to check on is yourself. If you are feeling any type of pain, make sure you call 911 and get attended. When you are at the scene, you certainly want to make sure that you obtain information from the other driver or drivers, which includes their car insurance. The most important things you want to get from the other driver are: their driver’s license (or other state or federal issued license ID), current address, auto insurance, and their car registration.
Don’t forget to make sure you check that the auto insurance and car registration match the car they are driving. What I mean is to look at both forms and check that the VIN (vehicle identification number) and the license plates match the ones on the car. It is also important to check that neither document is expired, and if they are, ask the driver if they have an up to date copy. If that is out of your comfort zone, the police can help you exchange if they were contacted.
Who To Call Now?
Whether you are at fault or not, always contact your insurance first before the other insurance company. The common misconception about insurance companies are that they are the enemy whether it is your own or not. This is not true because regardless of the situation, you want to get your insurance involved as soon as possible. You pay them a premium, you pay them to protect you from any possible outcome regardless if you have collision coverage or just liability insurance. A lot of times, they will give you recommendations on what to do, and what they can do. Your auto insurance will collect all the details from the accident, and the contact info from the other driver. Then after that, I would contact the other person’s insurance as well.
Your Car Insurance
After filing a claim with your insurance company, they will most likely assign an adjuster that will investigate the accident. If you have collision coverage, they can immediately start addressing your car. Whether at fault or not, your collision coverage will protect your car (if your damages exceed your deductible) and protect you against any liability. If you go through your insurance, the important thing is that they basically serve as a barrier between you and the other insurance company. They can pay for your damages (minus your deductible) and pursue the other insurance company. If you are injured, make sure to discuss your coverages regarding medical assistance. Discuss all coverages such as car rental, so that you can have a loaner car while your vehicle is out of service.
The Other Insurance
You will go through similar steps with the other insurance. When you get the other insurance involved, it gives them time to contact their insured and do their own investigation. Once they conclude they will make a liability decision and decide who is liable. If they feel they are liable, they will begin to work with you to pay for your damages and any potential injuries. This process can take a long time. They might take a long time to address the claim as they might not be able to get ahold of their insured, the person driving and the car owner are different people, or the insurance is simply taking a longer time to respond. Regardless, you want to get them involved if you intend to not go through your insurance.