11 Things to Do (And 5 Things To Avoid) If You Get in an Auto
No matter how well you drive, you'll probably be involved in a
fender bender sometime in the next few years. Here's a list of
tips will help make your accident less traumatic.
(1) Prepare by having a notepad, a few pens and a disposable
camera in the glovebox. Print out this article and store it to
help you remember what to do.
Sketch the accident scene, noting all cars involved, roadways,
direction of travel, skid marks, and anything else to help your
case. Write a description of what happened. Note any
contributing factors like wet roads, or blocked signs that
couldn't be seen. Date, time and sign your notes. Photograph the
(2) Beware of accident scams. Some thieves will pretend to have
an accident by bumping the rear of your car on an empty road.
When you get out of the car to investigate, they rob you or
steal your car. Drive to a populated place or police station
before getting out of your car if things seem suspect.
(3) Copy down driver's license numbers and vehicle owner's
registration. Remember that the owner (i.e. the insured) might
not be the driver. Find out the insurance company name,
passenger's names, and the work and home telephone number of the
(4) Record license plates and VIN's (vehicle identification
numbers) from the other cars. The VIN is located on the driver's
side of the dashboard and can be seen through the windshield.
This will you later on help if the driver happens to have stolen
plates and a bogus registration card.
(5) Collect names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses. (6)
Call the police if the accident is on a public roadway.They can
help document your case and prove how it happened. (7) Move your
car and yourself off the highway after getting all your data /
evidence. Standing in the street or waiting in your damaged car
on the roadway can be dangerous. Turn on your flashers and put
up warning triangles well in front of the accident to warn other
(8) Observe the other drivers' actions after the crash. If they
are crawling under their car to inspect damage after an
accident, then they don't have a serious injury. A photo of this
wouldn't hurt your case.
(9) Control your temper. It is easier for the police to
determine you are at fault if you are a raving hothead. You will
be the one they remember two months from now in court. Stay
(10) Get the names and badge numbers of police present. Each
officer may have a different view of what the evidence was, and
having contact with all of them might help your case.
(11) Get a copy of your claim file from your insurance company.
Double check to make sure your claim is accurate. A mistake
found today can save you from paying high premiums in the
(1) Don't admit fault to anyone. Your words might be used
against you later. (2) Never discuss how the auto accident
happened. You don't want other drivers' versions of the car
accident to influence yours, and you don't want something to
slip out that makes you responsible.
(3) Avoid moving your car until after you have other parties'
license and vehicle registration information. Don't give the
other driver a chance to drive off, leaving you with the
(4) Refuse t0 accept any roadside settlements. Often damage can
be hidden and much greater than originally expected.
(5) Don't let anyone pick your auto repair facility for you. You
have the right by law to choose whichever auto repair shop you'd
like, and your insurance must cover it. Ask your friends and
neighbors for a reputable shop. Pick one that has been in
business at least five years, preferably ten. You want a
business that will be around if you have problems later.