What to do and how to act correctly in car accidents
1. Check yourself for injuries
The first thing you should do when you have a car accident is check that you are okay. Even if the accident was not very serious or the damage to your vehicle does not seem serious at first glance, you may have an injury.
Your body's natural response to car accidents is to release a strong adrenaline rush. This causes you not to feel pain until some time after the accident.
Check for injuries that frequently occur in car accidents, such as:
- Cuts or skin wounds, especially if they are deep or extensive
- Spinal, back and / or neck injuries
- Broken bones, frequently occurring in the arms and legs
Take a moment to analyze if you feel any pain in the abdomen or chest or a severe headache. If you feel any of these symptoms call an ambulance immediately, as you may have an internal injury.
2. Check that the passengers of the vehicle are okay
If another occupant or passenger was traveling in your vehicle, carry out these same checks for each passenger. Remember that seat belts and air bags are tools to make car accident injuries less severe, but they do not always prevent them .
Unless one of the people is in an obvious risk situation, it is better not to move the injured from their seat or position. Let emergency services are responsible for assessing and transferring the injured safely.
In case any of the passengers is unconscious, it is best to check their vital signs, that is:
- Consciousness: talk to the person to check if they momentarily lost consciousness or He was knocked unconscious from the shock of the accident and recovers when you speak to him. Do not hit or move it, as this can cause additional injury.
- Breathing : in case be unconscious, bring your hand to the person's nose or mouth. Check your breathing.
- Pulse: place your index finger on the wrist or neck to validate that it has a pulse. The pulse may feel accelerated by the impact if the accident was more serious.
In case you need to contact any of the emergency numbers, dial 911 for security emergencies, civil protection, security services health, or fire department. If you need any other emergency telephone number, you can consult it here.
3. Get off your vehicle safely
Once you have checked the health of all the occupants, exit your vehicle safely.
To do this, we recommend:
- Put on a reflective vest , so that other vehicles can see you easily when you get out of the vehicle.
- Check that there are no vehicles coming in both directions of traffic before getting off.
4. Check that the passengers of the other vehicle are okay
Most car accidents involve the collision of two or more vehicles. If another vehicle was involved, check the passengers for injuries. If they have significant injuries or injuries, contact an ambulance at 911 .
Never run away to avoid dealing with the situation. In addition to being a moral duty, not helping any injured person can lead to legal action against you.
Remember that in car accidents where someone was injured or killed, the police are obliged to carry out a breathalyzer test and immobilize your vehicle until the judge's determination. Be patient and do not obstruct the procedures that the representatives of the authority must carry out by protocol.
In the event that any authority requests your statement of the facts, report them as objectively as possible. Do not assume the blame or declare yourself responsible , much less blame a third party. Fault can only be determined by the competent authority. If you have doubts, wait for the adjuster of your insurance company before making any declaration.
5. Prevent your vehicle from causing more car accidents
If your accident was not serious, do everything possible so that it does not get worse, for which:
- If you are in the way of traffic or a dangerous point, move your vehicle to a safe point. Take photos of the accident before moving it in case your adjuster needs that evidence.
- If another vehicle is involved in the accident, write down the plates and the make of the other vehicle.
- If there is another vehicle involved in the accident, let them know that you need to move your vehicle a few meters. This will prevent them from thinking it is an escape attempt.
6. Place signs so that other vehicles can see that there was an accident
It is important that approaching vehicles know that there was an accident. This will allow them to brake and avoid you safely, without maneuvering or sharp turns.
Install the safety triangle at a distance of approximately fifty meters (u 80 steps) before the traffic accident. If you are on a sharp curve or ridge, position it far enough away for other vehicles to see it.
If the accident occurred at night or in low-light areas, put your vehicle's turn signals. In this way, you help other drivers to see that your vehicle is immobilized.
7. Return to your vehicle and contact your insurer
Once you have verified that everyone involved in the accident has no injuries and your vehicle is in a safe place, contact your insurer.
The claims telephone number of your insurer can be found at:
- The face of your policy, usually at the top right or bottom.
- The website of your insurer.
- If you are a client of ARCA or have your policy registered in our insurance platform , you can contact your insurer by clicking on the «Report claim» button at the top of your policy. The claims telephone number of your insurer will be automatically dialed.
Your insurer will advise you on how to proceed. They will ask you if there are any injuries, for which it is important that you have followed our step-by-step guide.
In order to assist you, your insurer will ask you for some information, among others:
- Your policy number.
- The name of the (s ) street (s) or roads where the accident occurred or any reference to be able to locate you.
- A description of what happened to determine the type of assistance you need and if they should send emergency services.
- Your contact information, in case the call is cut or they need to contact you later.
The insurer's telephone advisor will tell you how to proceed until the adjuster arrives. Once your adjuster arrives, follow their directions.
8. Other additional tips
8.1 If they run away, don't chase them
If any third party involved in the traffic accident runs away, it is better not to pursue. Write down the license plates, brand and color of the vehicle and file a complaint with the authorities.
8.2 Damages to the nation
Any property on public roads that you have damaged is considered damage to the nation (ex: poles, signs, fences, traffic lights, etc.). In general, auto insurance covers damages to the nation in Comprehensive coverage.
8.3 Do not make any disbursement
If a third party asks you to make a payment or money to avoid a worse situation, do not make any payment . Contact your insurer immediately and request legal and legal assistance support before making a payment.
8.4 In if in doubt, contact your insurer
If you have questions about what to do, contact your insurer for telephone advice or consultation your doubts with your adjuster.