Car accidents are unfortunate and sometimes life-altering, but there are steps you can take if you ever find yourself behind the wheel when a collision occurs. Your team at River City Insurance Agency in Mauston, WI, has put together this guide to help you make the best decisions possible immediately following an accident.
First Things First: File a Police Report
You might feel tempted to forego reporting the accident to the police, but filing the police report is very important, even if there is little to no damage. Call 911 or your local law enforcement department’s non-emergency line to report the accident. Be aware of your address or general location before calling, and stay on the line for as long as you need to answer the dispatcher’s questions and perform any tasks he or she asks you to perform. They’ll likely need to know the location of the accident, whether anyone is injured, and whether the vehicles or people involved are in the line of traffic.
Then, Connect With Your Insurance Agent
Once you’ve reported the accident to the police and they are en route to the scene, phone your insurance agent to let them know what’s happened and seek out their guidance. He or she is an expert when it comes to managing the aftermath of a car accident and can provide you with step-by-step instructions. Connecting with your agent can help you protect yourself from undue consequences or liability.
Now, Take Note of Important Details
You remember the details of the accident better now than you will an hour from now or a week from now, making right now the best time to write them down. Things you may want to document include:
- Descriptions and plate numbers of vehicles involved and vehicles that may have been witness to the accident
- The name, contact information, and insurance information of any other driver involved and whether you see passengers in the vehicle
- Photographs of the scene of the accident including any damage that has occurred to vehicles or property (fences, light posts, etc.) as a result of the accident
You can also share your insurance information and contact information with the other driver(s) involved, but take special care not to comment on who was at fault or how the accident occurred. Most importantly, don’t apologize or share that you believe you caused the accident. Admitting guilt can harm the investigation and leave you vulnerable to liability.
Cooperate with Law Enforcement
As law enforcement arrives and asks questions, feel free to answer their questions, providing accurate answers to their questions without providing more information than they’re requesting from you. Provide copies of the documents they need, including your license, registration, and insurance card. Ask how to get a copy of the police report before you leave the scene.
Once the police officer has permitted you to leave the scene, connect with your agent for help filing a claim.
Are you interested in lowering your auto insurance rates? Request a free quote from River City Insurance in Mauston, Wisconsin, today. Our team is eager to help!