When an Accident Isn’t Your Fault: Use the CRASH Method
Knowing what to do immediately after any car accident can be difficult–let alone one that is someone else’s fault. Obviously the first order of concern is everyone’s health and wellbeing. Even if everyone is okay, emotions and adrenaline will be running high, and this fact may understandably impair your decision making. Here’s what to do to ensure that you’re not left with a huge bill on top of your traumatic experience.
After an accident, many people are in a state of shock and find it difficult to think straight. We’ve found that in times like these, it helps to utilize a process that’s easy to remember. We call this method the “CRASH” method.
Step 1. Call The Police
After an accident, you will want to call the police right away. Because the accident isn’t your fault, every piece of documentation that you can get your hands on will matter. The police will get straight to work on an investigation and eventually come out with a report.
According to insurance expert Scott Grimm:
“Call the police and file a police report. Typically insurance carriers are more likely to believe you if it’s on police record of your statement.
Also…unless they’re able to identify the other driver, the person would typically have to pay their collision deductible but charge-ability would be determined based on the claims investigation.”
Step 2. Record The Damages
Next, try to record as much information about the scene as you can. This includes taking photos and videos of the accident, which you will eventually send to your insurance company.
Step 3. Ask The Other Driver For Information
Next, ask the other driver for their contact and insurance information. Having police aid in the investigation will make it more likely that the other driver comes clean if they are at fault. If they are are fault, then there’s a high likelihood that their insurance will cover much of the damages.
Step 4. Send Information to Your Insurance Company
Once you have records of the accident scene and the other driver’s information, it’s important that you call your insurance company right away. Doing so promptly will help your insurance company create an accurate timeline of the events. Once you’re in contact with your insurance company, they’ll be able to assist you on next steps to filing a claim.
Step 5. Hire A Professional (Optional)
Lastly, you may want to consider hiring professional help, such as an attorney. If you have experienced personal injury or the other party’s insurance company attempts to negotiate, make sure that you talk to someone experienced for advice. They’ll help you navigate the scene and make sure that you don’t accidentally take a bad deal.
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