With the hazardous conditions our roads have been in lately, collisions have been on the rise. When you have been involved in a collision, it is easy to panic, and to face the next few moments with uncertainty as to how to proceed. Several things that need taking care of will rush into your mind at once, and it will be tricky to organize and prioritize them for yourself. The effect can be paralyzing. The best way to avoid that deer-in-headlights experience following a collision is to know how to deal with one before it happens:
- Maintain your composure. Easier said that done, and certainly, some degree of worry is natural. Don't feed it though. Devise strategies to talk yourself down from a frenzy in order to help yourself think clearly, and to avoid worsening the circumstances. You may be the wronged party here, but giving in to anger or hysteria will not help you in the least—in fact, it will make a favorable resolution less likely for you.
- Check for injuries. The single most important thing to check for immediately following an accident is for the safety of all those involved. If someone has been injured, don't attempt to nurse the injury yourself: call for professional medical help immediately.
- Get out of harm's way. As soon as you have assessed the well-being of all those involved in the collision, if possible, move your vehicle off of the road in order to avoid making a hazard of your car—this could result in further collisions. If you are unable to move your vehicle yourself owing to extensive damage, call your insurance provider for assistance in arranging to have your vehicle towed off of the road.
- Call the police. In cases of moderate to extreme damage, police involvement becomes necessary. When the police arrive, they will prepare a report by collecting as much data as possible, and most of this data will come from the answers you provide to their questions. Be sure to answer honestly and completely, but do not make an admission of guilt. Determining fault is the domain of both the police and the insurance claims adjuster.
- Make your own record. You may think that you will be able to recall the incident with accuracy, but this is actually highly unlikely, so you should make things easier on yourself by recording as much as you can about the incident. Writing down key pieces of information like the time and place of the collision, as well as names and contact information for those involved and those who may have witnessed it, are a good place to start. If you have a camera handy, taking photos of the damage would be very useful as well.
- Contact your insurance provider. This is the part where you get to turn over the thinking to someone else. Your insurance provider will guide you through the next steps for filing a claim, and for securing a temporary vehicle in the meantime. At Sharp, we try to make this as easy as possible for our clients. One such way we do this is through the provision of our Iphone claim app, which you can access here.
Having these steps committed to memory prior to a collision will make the experience of dealing with one much easier when it does happen. Remember that there are experts to help you along the way, who deal with this routinely, and who are there to ensure that you are taken care of.