A car accident can be a difficult situation no matter how minor. The important thing to remember is that car accidents happen all the time, and your safety is the highest concern after an accident occurs. Worry about caring for yourself first, and then you can determine how to care for the car and sort out the situation with your insurance company. Since car accidents can often leave you disoriented and in shock, it’s important to prepare beforehand to know what to do after a car accident. The following steps should all be taken directly after an auto accident occurs:
1. Analyze the Damage to the Car and Personal Injuries
While remaining as calm as possible, analyze the vehicle for any new damages that occurred as a result of the auto accident. Major injuries will most likely manifest themselves right away, but you should always be sure to check for minor injuries on your person as well. These injuries might include bumps, scratches, bruises and mild pain in any area of the body. If it’s possible, try to document these damages and injuries with a cell phone camera, digital camera or any other recording device you may have on you.
2. File a Report
Call your local police station (or just dial 911 if you don’t have the number on hand) and file a report for the accident to ensure it is properly recorded. Limit the conversation to general details and avoid talking about fault or liability of any parties involved until you discuss the auto accident with your insurance agent first. Be sure to call your insurance agent right after you call the police to file your claim as quickly as possible.
3. Limit Your Discussion of the Auto Accident
An exciting event like an auto accident may be tempting to talk about with all your friends or post on Twitter, but the most practical thing to do after the accident is to only discuss the information with the police and your insurance agent. This ensures that nothing you say in a shocked state of mind will be used against you and possibly limit the amount of insurance you are qualified for. Bringing others into the situation not only exacerbates it, but this will also confuse you in terms of what really happened.
If you have been in a car accident recently and you are waiting to find out what type of impact it will have on your insurance policy coverage, it can certainly be a nerve wracking time. Fortunately, the impact of an accident upon your monthly premium is often not nearly as bad as one might imagine. The best course of action is always to have a frank and honest discussion with your auto insurance provider, so that you can get the specifics about your policy and your situation.
However, even though you can’t find out exactly the degree of impact on your premium just by searching online, you can get a good idea of how your claim or accident could affect your policy even prior to speaking with your insurance agent. Here are some of the basics on how an insurance policy is generally impacted by an accident or a claim.
The Percentage Raise in Your Premiums
Most of the time you will see a small specified percentage raise in your monthly premium following an auto accident that resulted in a claim. Although this is standard for any accident which was caused by you or mainly caused by you, it will not apply in cases where another driver was at fault. In cases where there is a small amount of contributory negligence, it may not affect your policy premiums either. Contributory negligence essentially means that you have contributed to the accident circumstances in some way — but nearly all accidents are alleged to have some degree of contributory negligence, so you need not worry about a premium raise if the other driver was almost totally at fault. The percentage rate can really vary quite widely between insurance providers, so it very helpful to discuss such specifics with your agent. An average percentage for a first at fault accident violation is a 10 percent raise in liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage types.
Keeping Your Coverage
You won’t need to worry about losing your insurance coverage unless you have multiple at fault at fault accidents in a relatively short period. Your insurance provider will always be there to let you know if a situation like this is developing.
Any driver who has been in an accident knows the feeling of surveying the damage afterwards and wondering whether it could have been prevented. Although there are times when there’s nothing you can do to prevent an accident because you’re the victim of another driver’s negligence, most accidents are preventable. Keeping yourself from getting in an accident not only saves you from having to make an insurance claim, but also protects your health and the health of others on the road. Here are some strategies to keep yourself from getting in accidents.
Don’t Multitask: Many accidents occur because of divided attention. If you’re trying to do something else while you drive, less of your mental focus is on the road, other vehicles around you, and traffic signs and signals. Therefore, if at all possible, avoid multitasking while you’re behind the wheel. This includes obvious culprits like talking on the phone, texting, and putting on makeup, but also some less obvious behaviors. Eating while you drive, talking with people in the car, and even changing the radio station can all take your attention off the road.
Learn Defensive Driving Habits: Taking a short online or classroom defensive driving course equips you with the basic skills to learn how to recognize and avoid potential accidents. In some cases, you’ll even qualify for a discount on your auto insurance after successfully completing a course. Some of the most important skills include scanning the road ahead of you for potential hazards (which include hazardous drivers), always having an escape route in mind, and driving in the center lane to give yourself more options for escape.
Know Your Condition: Never drive drunk, and when in doubt of whether or not you’re drunk, play it safe. In addition, don’t drive when you’re tired. That deductible on your policy, and the subsequent premium increase, is much more expensive than a night in a hotel in the middle of a long road trip.
Maintain Your Vehicle: A vehicle in good condition is more able to respond quickly in a situation in which an auto accident needs to be prevented. Replace your tires when they’re getting worn, maintain your brake pads and braking system, and check your fluid levels to keep your systems in top conditions. These will help your car respond as you’d like it to when performing accident avoidance maneuvers.
When an accident occurs, it is scary and can cause you to be very disoriented. Even though it may seem almost impossible to focus in the minutes immediately after the impact, you can do so if you work very hard to stay calm and follow some simple guidelines. These automobile accident steps will help you to know what to do when an accident occurs. We have kept it simple so that you can remember these automobile accident steps even in time of crisis.
First: Call For Help
The first thing that you need to do is call for help. Don’t try to move your vehicle, or make any changes to the scene of the accident, but rather place your safety needs and the safety needs of others first. Call 911 and report the accident. The dispatcher will send police officers as well as an ambulance that can help transport any injured parties to the hospital.
Next: Watch Your Words
Use good judgment when it comes to speaking about the accident. Do not speak to the other party in the accident, and never admit guilt even if you think you may have been responsible. That is up to the police and insurance company to determine and these situations are rarely black and white. Discuss the accident only with the police officers responding to the accident scene, and simply tell them your impression of how the accident occurred. During their initial interview post-accident the police will ask for your insurance information, so be sure that you provide them with this.
Finally: Call Your Agent
Call your insurance agent as soon as you possibly can. Tell your agent that you were in an auto accident and give them all the information they will need to get started on your case. Your agent will ask for information on the police report, so have that with you when you call.
Use these smart tips to make sure that you are protected after the accident. Your agent is your partner here, and will help you to deal with this difficult situation as efficiently as quickly as possible.
In instances where a driver under your insurance policy has gotten into multiple auto accidents and received several traffic tickets, it may be in your best interest to exclude this person from your auto insurance policy. Any traffic violations that occur under your insurance policy, whether a fault of your own or another driver, will negatively affect your insurance rates and cause your premiums to increase dramatically. In order to exclude a driver from your insurance policy, you will have to deliver a written “named driver exclusion” to your insurance carrier to specify exactly which driver you would like to be excluded from your insurance policy. Once this person is excluded from your policy, he or she will not be covered under your personal auto policy for future accidents.
Although a driver may be excluded from your policy, you or the excluded driver will still be responsible for any damages or injuries that may result from an auto accident in which the excluded driver is at fault. However, you will only be personally responsible if the excluded driver was driving your vehicle at the time, regardless of whether or not he or she was covered under your insurance policy at the time of the accident. For this reason, you will want to exclude an at-risk driver as soon as possible, and make sure to terminate this person’s access to your vehicle after you have excluded him or her.
Your insurance company may recommend excluding a driver from your coverage policy if this person is responsible for any of the following:
- Multiple vehicle citations
- A suspended license
- Several at-fault accidents
- A DUI or DWI conviction
- Impaired mental ability
If your own record is relatively clean, having someone on your policy who has any of the violations listed could cause you to pay higher insurance premiums that you otherwise wouldn’t have to pay. Excluding this person from your policy would allow you to enjoy all of the benefits that you earned as a good driver, while eliminating and negative affects that this driver has caused.
No-Fault, also called Personal Injury Protection (PIP), pays for the losses up to $50,000 to individual person who is injured in an accident, be it a pedestrian, passenger or the driver. The purpose of Wyoming’s No Fault law is purely to restore health, assets and productivity, though slowly yet steadily for every individual who are hurt in an auto accident. It also ensures that economic losses are met and not exceeding the law’s benefits.
No-Fault is a coverage mainly to cover personal injury and not to pay for any car repair or damage to parts of vehicles or any personal property. No-Fault pays first for injuries when an accident occurs hence standing much before a health insurance.
Any basic No-Fault car insurance coverage includes:
- Necessary and reasonable rehabilitation and medical charges related to an accident.
- 80% of earnings which you have lost from work, pays up to $2,000 per month for 3 years, count starts from accident date; it also offers disability benefits on statutory offsets for Wyoming Worker’s Compensation, State disability, and Federal Social Security.
- Pays up to $25 per day, from accident date up to an year, to reimburse necessary and other reasonable expenses resulted from an auto accident.
- Death benefit of $2,000 payable to eligible person’s beneficiary who was killed in the accident.
However, a person will not be eligible under few car insurance policies for No-Fault benefits. If,
- DUI comes into picture i.e. a driver is under intoxication and accident occurs.
- Causing injuries intentionally.
- A felony committed and is injured.
- Injured when in a stolen vehicle.
- An uninsured vehicle is owned by you.