The Census Bureau estimates that about 10 million car crashes take place each year in the United States. Being involved in a car crash can be a stressful experience. Preparation, however, can lessen the stress and help you receive a faster insurance settlement. Here are some tips about what to do at the scene of the accident.
Stay Calm and Remain at the Scene
Don’t give in to panic, anger, or any strong emotion. Stay calm and avoid talking about the accident with the other party. Make small talk with the other driver, and remain at the scene. Drivers who leave the scene of an accident in Arizona may be found guilty of a felony and lose their driving privileges.
Once everyone is safe, notify the police of the accident by phoning 911 or the local highway patrol even if the accident seems minor. Calling the police is always a good idea and is mandatory in Arizona if the accident involves an injury or death or more than $1,000 in property damage. Police will make a formal report in these cases or if a citation is issued. Avoid making any statement about the accident until the police arrive.
Be wary if the other driver pressures you not to report the accident. The driver could want to avoid a report because he or she is uninsured or intoxicated. Making a report is critical in these cases.
Document the Accident
Obtain information from the other driver, such as name, phone number, name and phone number of their insurance company, driver’s license number; VIN number, make and model, and license number of their vehicle. Take photographs of both cars from all four sides, as well as photos of the accident site.
If anyone witnessed the accident, record their name and phone number. Take notes for your own use in talking with the police and reporting the accident. In these notes, list the direction in which you were traveling and how the other vehicle was traveling. Note the time of day and any specific weather conditions, such as rain, snow, or darkness. Sketch the accident and jot down your recollections of what happened as quickly after the accident as you can before the details begin to blur in your mind.
When the police come, describe your version of what happened as factually as possible without speculation and without admitting fault or assigning blame. Cooperate fully but do not volunteer information beyond the facts. Do not apologize for the accident. Apologies can sometimes be interpreted as an admission of fault. Obtain the name and badge number of the office at the scene.
Only sign documents given to you by police or your insurance company; avoid signing any documents the other driver might present to you.
Call Smart Move Insurance Today!
Smart Move is here to help you through the process of filing your claim. Contact us as soon as possible to report the accident. We have been insuring people and vehicles in Greater Phoenix for many years.