The best defense to avoid any problems after a crash is to be prepared. Keeping a pen and paper, disposable camera or cell phone camera, and evidence of insurance card easily accessible at all times will help keep you organized and decrease stress moments after a collision. Use of a mobile app such as AAA Insurance can help you properly document the event.
After stopping your vehicle, AAA recommends all motorists involved in an auto crash follow these steps:
1. Assess the situation. Quickly check with those involved in the collision to determine if there are any injuries. If medical attention is needed, call 9-1-1. If medical attention is not needed, make sure you are not in imminent danger at the roadside.
2. Control the Scene. Before taking time to exchange information, get to a safe place. If there are no injuries and the vehicle is drivable, safely move to the right or left emergency lane. Turn on your hazard lights and set out warning flares or reflective triangles. Do not leave the scene of the crash.
3. Notify the Police and Submit a Report. The law requires you notify the police. No matter what either party says, call the police and file a report. If the police do not come to the scene to open an investigation, you can file a report by visiting a local police department or automobile insurance agency in the days after a crash. Having a report on file may help later if a liability claim is filed.
4. Document the Scene and Exchange Information. It is important to exchange and gather information with all parties involved in the crash, including witnesses. Having this on file will help complete any future paperwork or address potential problems. AAA suggests that you document:
• Addresses/email address
• Vehicle Information including makes, models and years for all cars involved
• Vehicle identification/license plate numbers
• Driver’s license numbers
• Insurance carriers and policy numbers
• Take photos of the location, people involved and damaged vehicles
5. Notify Your Insurance Carrier. Your insurance carrier will need to be notified immediately following a crash to start the proper claim filing.
6. Watch what you say. Don’t take the blame and don’t blame others. Do not show your insurance policy or tell your policy limits.
7. Unattended Vehicle or Property. If you are involved in a crash that involves an unattended vehicle or property, take action to inform the owner. If you cannot locate the owner, attach a written notice of the collision to the vehicle or property, being sure to include your contact information and information listed above.