It’s one of those situations that nobody wants to think about. You’re driving home from work on Route 9 in Clifton Park and someone rear-ends you at a traffic light. Do you know what you should do? Here are some tips on how to handle the situation at the scene of the accident if you’re not injured.
Move to a Safe Location
Moving your vehicles out of the lane of travel and safely onto the shoulder of the road if possible is a good practice to lower the risk of getting hit again by other motorists. If possible, you should also move yourself away from your vehicle to a safer location. If there is a guardrail, step over the guardrail and move farther from the roadway. In the event your vehicle is hit again while on the side of the road, you want to be sure you’re far enough away to avoid injury.
It’s a good idea to contact the authorities to have them come to the scene. They can write up a report that will state the facts of the accident as well as call for tow trucks if needed.
This is the step that is most often missed at the scene of the accident but can be critically important to expedite the handling of your insurance claim. There are a variety of pieces of information that you should get from the other driver if possible.
- Telephone Number
- Insurance Company Name
- Insurance Policy Number
The other driver’s telephone number and their insurance policy number are the two that are most often missed because they will not appear on the police report.
If your vehicle is towed from the scene, make sure you know exactly where it’s being towed to and if that location will charge you a daily fee to have the car sit there. It’s usually a good idea to have your car towed directly to the body shop that you’ll want to do the repair work so that storage fees and additional towing expenses are not incurred.
Call Your Insurance Agent
After you’re finished with the authorities and you’re in a safe location, call your insurance agent to discuss the claim process. Have as much information from the other driver as possible available when you call.
If there are injuries involved
If there are injuries involved, you’ll still want to try to get the same information as listed above but your wellbeing will take precedence. If you’re unable to move or feel that it is not a good idea to move, call 911 immediately and follow their instructions.
John Lofrumento, CFP®, FSCP®, RICP®
President, The Lofrumento Agency
Clifton Park, NY / Ballston Lake, NY