A step-by-step guide
Before we jump in, always remember that the best way to deal with an accident is to be prepared for one. Here are some things you can do right now at home to make sure you're ready for it.
Now for the real thing:
1. Check if anyone is hurt
First off, check yourself and other passengers in your car to see if anyone is hurt. If anyone is injured, call medical assistance right away, or dial 911 and ask for emergency help and a traffic investigator to go to the scene of the accident. Don’t call your family (yet). When tensions are still high, the last person you need is someone who’ll double your worrying.
2. Take pictures of the accident
Once you're sure everyone in the car is safe, get off the car carefully and take pictures. This is in case another person involved in the accident denies or lies about what happened. Make sure to take pictures of both vehicles (especially license plates), and the surrounding area in which the accident occurred.
3. If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road
With an accident sitting in the middle of the road, traffic starts building up because of two things. One: obviously, because you're blocking the road. And second: Filipinos just love looking at accidents. It's funny and irritating at the same time to see how cars start slowing down when drivers see an accident. Call it the "uzi" (Uzisero) effect.
If you're unable to move your vehicle, make sure to stay in the area of the incident until police or investigators arrives.
4. Once the police or traffic investigator arrives, let him take charge
When the police arrives, you'll want to get their names so that you can refer back to them later when reviewing the accident details. From this point on, the investigator will start to ask each person's side of the story. From there, they'll be escorting you to a police station in case you'd want to file a police report.
5. Exchange information with the other driver
Make sure to exchange the following information with the other driver involved:
Take pictures if you can as well of the info above (driver's license, plate number, etc.)
6. File an accident report
Filing a police report can assist in speeding up the insurance claims process. File a report at your local police station.
7. Contact your insurance company
During or after the accident, contact your insurance agent to ask for guidance on how to make a claim. Usually they’ll ask for the following requirements:
In case the passengers or the driver was hurt and needed to get emergency care, prepare the following as well:
In case a bystander was hurt in the accident (for claims on bodily injury to third party), prepare the following:
A car accident is every car owner’s worst fear. But with the proper preparations set ahead, along with the knowledge we’ve taught you, you’ll be ready.
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