If you get into a vehicle accident in California, you already have many things on your mind. However, you will likely need to talk to your insurance company and the other driver’s provider. It helps to know some tips on handling an accident and dealing with insurance providers.
Steps after an accident
Check passengers of all vehicles, but don’t try to remove toddlers or babies from car seats, unless it is necessary. Sometimes, children may have hidden injuries after motor vehicle accidents that may worsen if you try to move them. Call 9-1-1, or if you are injured or your phone isn’t reachable or not working, get someone else to call.
Passengers who are able should find a safe spot, but children and other vulnerable people should remain in the vehicle for safety when possible. Regardless of the accident severity, get the other driver’s name, address, vehicle make and year, phone number, and their provider’s name.
Dealing with other insurance providers
If the other driver’s insurance contacts you, remain calm and understand the providers are usually only looking out for their own financial interests. Only give them basic details, such as when and where the accident happened, and decline to be recorded. The providers want to save money and look for ways to find you at fault for the accident to deny claims.
They want to catch drivers soon after the accident who may not recall everything to lock them in a statement. Do not discuss details of your injuries or how you feel, because some injuries don’t show immediately. Write down everything you discussed with the adjuster, including who you talked to, and limit contact with them.
Sometimes, it is possible to settle small claims yourself without assistance but resist high-pressure lowball offers. Most importantly, see a doctor immediately after the accident.