6 Steps To Take If You Unintentionally Rear End Another Vehicle
While everyone hopes that they are never involved in an automobile collision, accidents do happen. It can rattle everyone involved, especially if you were the one who hit another vehicle unintentionally. With everyone in shock after just being in a crash, it can be hard to remember what you should do. Take the time to learn this information now, so you will be better prepared in the unfortunate event that you do accidentally rear end another vehicle. Here are the 6 steps you can take after rear-ending another vehicle:
1. Check On Everyone Involved In The Accident
The first thing you should do after hitting another vehicle from behind is to take a moment to process what happened, asses the situation, and determine if you have any injuries. Pay special attention to neck pain, because about 20% of people involved in rear end crashes exhibit symptoms of whiplash. If there are other people in your vehicle, call out to them to make sure everyone is okay. Next, check on the driver and any passengers in the other vehicle. If there are injuries severe enough to require immediate medical help, call 911 immediately.
2. Assess Your Vehicle
As soon as it's safe, take a walk around your car or truck to see if there is any damage. While looking at your vehicle, determine if you can drive it away from the accident or if you need a tow truck. You probably won't be able to determine the full extent of the damage because, in most cases, a significant amount of wreckage will be focused underneath the automobile. But, you will be able to get a good idea of the outside visual damage done to your vehicle.
3. Decide To Keep Your Vehicle In The Same Spot, Or Move It
If it's possible, keep all the vehicles involved in the crash where they are. This allows the police to see the position of the vehicles to help them reconstruct the accident and determine who's at fault.
But, if the accident occurred on a busy road or highway, it may be too dangerous to leave the vehicles where they are. If you feel unsafe leaving your car or truck where it is, then move it to a better location, like the side of the road, breakdown lane, or the nearest side street. Just remember to mark the road where the vehicles were prior to moving them. Better yet, take out your cell phone and snap a few pictures. Pictures can also be helpful for the police report and court proceedings, if it comes to that.
4. Call 911
Once you know everyone is okay and the vehicles are in a safe spot, it's time to report the accident to the authorities. No matter how minor the accident was, you must report it to the police for insurance purposes. The police will come to the scene of the rear end collision and ask questions of those involved as well as any witnesses. They may also take pictures. All of the information gathered will be used to create a police report.
5. Exchange Information
While you wait for the police to arrive, it's time to exchange information with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. The information you need to exchange includes:
Home telephone number and/or cell phone number
Drivers' license number
Vehicle make and model
License plate number and state
Insurance company name
Insurance company phone number
Names and phone numbers of any witnesses
6. Call Your Insurance Agent
Once you're back home and your nerves have settled down a bit, it's time to call your insurance agent. The insurance company needs to know about accidents as soon as possible, no matter who's at fault. The quicker you call them and notify them of the situation, the sooner they can being processing your claim. The insurance company may complete their own investigation to decide who is at fault for the accident, which can cause the claim process to take several weeks. If you are found at fault for the accident, your insurance company will have to pay for the other driver's vehicle repairs and medical bills, as well as cover the cost of repairs to your own car. You can expect your insurance premium to go up.
While most of these steps may seem obvious, it can be difficult to remain calm and remember the details after rear-ending someone. Read this article several times so you'll know exactly what to do in the unfortunate event that you rear end another vehicle. If you have additional questions, contact your insurance agent. They will be happy to help you.
Check out sites like http://www.collinginsurance.com/ for more information.