Having a car accident can be a jarring experience. Emotions can be high, and confusion abounds. If you can keep your emotions in check and proceed logically through specific steps, you can protect your health and pocketbook.
Once everyone is safe, call 911 or the local highway patrol. If the other driver tries to persuade you not to call the police, consider this a red flag that he or she may have been driving without insurance, without a license, or under the influence. Calling the police is especially crucial in these cases.
While waiting for the police to arrive, avoid discussing the accident with the other driver. Above all, avoid saying anything that could indicate that you might be at fault.
Never leave the scene of an accident until the police come. Leaving the scene of an accident can result in fines and jail time.
Document the Crash
Focus on documenting the accident by doing the following:
- Obtain the names, contact information, driver’s license number, insurance information, and vehicle information for the other driver, as well as contact information for any passengers.
- Check to see whether anyone witnessed the accident and obtain contact information for them.
- Take photographs of your vehicle and the other vehicle from all four sides.
- Look for and document damage other than vehicle damage; for example, tire marks on a neighbor’s grass.
- Jot down notes about what you remember. Be sure to include information about the direction you were driving and the direction other cars were moving. Also, include any information about weather or other conditions that might be relevant. Note the time of the accident.
Cooperate With Authorities
Answer questions asked by police factually, without admitting fault or speculating. You’ll probably be asked to sign a copy of your statement to the police, but avoid signing anything presented to you by anyone other than the police. In Wisconsin, a crash must be reported when it results in the injury of a person, $1,000 or more damage to any person’s vehicle or property, or damage of $200 or more to state or other government-owned property other than a vehicle. If the police are called, they will fill out the report. However, if they are not called or are unable to come, you are responsible for filing the information with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
Contact Your Agent
Contact Glass Insurance Center in Lake Geneva and Silver Lake to begin the claims process.
One way of ensuring your health and financial wellbeing in case of an accident is to be sure you have the right coverage and ample limits before you have an accident. While Wisconsin has minimum requirements of $10,000 in property damage and $50,000 for injury and death of more than one person, most people will want more than these minimums. You’ll want to be sure you have enough coverage to replace your car, and that of the other driver’s should you be at fault. You also want to be sure you can cover lost wages, as well as medical bills, if necessary. Call Glass Insurance Center at 262-248-5555 to check on the limits of your coverage today.