There are more than six million car accidents each year in the United States. It is not as uncommon as you might think and you will not lose anything by preparing yourself a little for some bad luck. You can start with keeping a few things permanently in your car's dashboard like your insurance information, a pen, a notepad and a disposable camera.
No one expects a car accident; they are always sudden and happen really quickly. It's important to stay calm to handle the situation. It is easy to panic as an accident can be a very shaking experience. However there is always a need for someone to be calm and stay stable at such unfortunate events.
First you must give assistance to anyone who needs it, you much check if anyone is injured, and then call the emergency ambulance service (if required) and the police.
Do not lose your temper; do not start blaming anyone at the scene and patiently wait for the police. Never discuss the accident with anyone till the police arrive. You must then give an accurate and fully detailed account of the events which lead to the accident to the policemen. You should see to it that your side of the story is properly heard.
Call your insurance agent as soon as you can and if possible from the scene of the accident itself. It would be of great help if you let the police officer do all the talking, who would most likely better explain everything to the insurance company.
You must gather as much information as possible about the accident. Making sketches of how it happened or even better, taking photographs, can be really useful in claiming your insurance. You must exchange personal details with the driver of the other vehicle, his name, his contact details, his address etc. You should never forget to take down his license plate number and more importantly, make a note of the type of vehicle and its vehicle identification number. This is important as some insurance company do not keep license plate numbers in their records.
Once you get back home and are all safe and sound. You must reread your insurance policy. You will find that it has three parts.
First there is the declaration which tells you the maximum amount payable by the insurance company. It also tells you of certain sub-features of your purchased policy like discounts etc.
The second part is your insurance agreement; this is what tells you the overall extent of your coverage, it tells you what your policy protects you against and what it excludes. It comes with a set of definitions for the different terms of the agreement. If for some reason, you fail to understand any part of the agreement you can call your insurance agent for clarification.
The third and the last of part of your policy are the conditions. These are basically a set of instructions which tells you what to do after an accident. They are simple to follow and are vital for keeping all your rights intact.