Unfortunately, approximately 90 people die each day as a direct result of car collisions. While not every automobile accident leads to injury or death, crashing your car an still be a stressful and serious incident.
And, it can be difficult to know what to do after one occurs. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how to answer ‘what to do if I crashed my car.’
The most important step to take after an accident that involves you crashing your car is calling 911 and reporting the accident to the police. Not only will this create official documentation of the incident that everyone involved is able to use as evidence, but it also establishes that you weren’t attempting to flee the scene.
It’s essential to remember during this process, though, that you should avoid admitting fault in any form. This later can (and often will) be used against you at a later time by the other party if there was one involved.
So, it’s best to avoid phrases like ‘I didn’t see you’ or ‘I had looked down for just a second before I hit you.’ If you do converse with the other party, it should only be for the purpose of exchanging the necessary information.
Gather Info of The Scene
If there was another vehicle involved in your crash, you should document its make/model, license plate number, any damage that’s present, etc. You should also speak with the other driver to obtain information about them and their insurance.
You should strive to take as many photos as possible while you’re still at the scene so that the incident is as properly documented.
Speak to any witnesses who were present in order obtain an account of what happened from their point of view. When doing so, it’s often best to obtain a video or audio recording of the conversation as long as the other party consents to it.
At the beginning of the recording, make sure you have the other party state the current date/time and their full name before giving their account. It’s your best interest to do this with as many witnesses as you can.
File a Report on The Accident
In the state of California, it’s legally required to file an accident report under the following circumstances:
- Someone was injured during the accident
- There was a death as a result of the collision
- Property damage exceeded $1,000
You have 10 days from the date of the accident to report it. Otherwise, you may find that you suffer from consequences like having your license suspended.
A report typically includes info about how the incident occurred, the outcome, the other parties involved, etc. So, avoid neglecting this obligation at all costs if the incident meets one of the above criteria.
Call Your Insurance Company
In order to get your vehicle repaired in a timely manner, you’ll need to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the incident. This is especially true for accidents that resulted in significant damage to your vehicle or that of the other party.
If you choose to wait before filing, you may even find yourself having to pay for the necessary expenses out of pocket. If there was significant property damage as a result of the accident, this amount could easily be tens of thousands of dollars.
So, get in touch with your insurance provider as quickly as you can to prevent any complications from occurring in the future.
What If My Friend Borrowed My Car?
It’s not uncommon for people to let others whom they trust borrow their car. This is especially true if they only plan on going a short distance, such as to the store to pick up a few necessities.
However, it’s also not uncommon for an accident to occur during these scenarios.
Fortunately, your friend will be covered by your auto insurance if such an incident were to occur. In fact, they’ll be covered just as extensively as you would be during the same scenario since they were the driver of the car at the time.
Similarly, damage to your car will also be covered accordingly.
Things can become a bit more complicated, though, if someone you know drove your car without your knowledge or explicit permission.
If you’re able to prove that you had no knowledge of the incident or that you hadn’t given them the go-ahead to take your car, you won’t be responsible for any damage. Instead, your friend’s insurance covered will be responsible for paying the cost of any required repairs.
In the event that your friend doesn’t have proper insurance coverage, you may need to file a claim against them in order to get everything paid for.
Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to prove that the other party didn’t have permission to use your vehicle. Even something as simple as a text message conversation could be used to establish the stance you took on them driving your car.
If you can’t explicitly prove this, though, you may find that your insurance company is responsible for any damage that occurred.
Answering ‘What to Do If I Just Crashed My Car’ Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information in mind to answer ‘what to do if I crashed my car’, you’ll be well on your way toward making the right decisions and handling the situation as responsibly as possible.
Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.