Let's say you are on your way home from a long tiring day at work. You're minding your own business going at a reasonable speed and a fast-moving car cuts you off. You barely have time to brake and you end up in a crash.
Accidents happen and sometimes it's not your fault. In the heat of the moment, you feel flustered, you panic, and get carried away by the situation – understandably so but that shouldn't be the case. Here are a couple of things to remember in the event you get into an accident.
Take a breather and stay in the accident area
Safety is the number one factor to consider after encountering an accident. This means taking a couple of seconds to gather your thoughts to calm down. Having a messy mind will take away from your ability to deal with the situation at hand. If you are in the middle of the road, make sure to check your mirrors and surroundings before exiting your vehicle. Never leave the scene of the accident; it is your legal obligation to remain in the area until help or the police arrive.
Check if you or anyone else is hurt
When an accident occurs and you are with passengers, make sure to check yourself and your passengers to see if anyone's injured. If someone is hurt, call for medical assistance immediately or dial MMDA 1-3-6 and ask for a medical team and a traffic investigator to go to the scene as soon as possible. During this time, make sure to turn off our vehicle in case flammable fluids are leaking and to turn on your hazard lights if they are functional.
Take photos and videos then try to move out of the way
Make sure to take pictures and videos of the incident before trying to move your vehicles off the road. Having photos and videos can further aid your case when it comes down to the police report. It can also serve as evidence in case the other party denies what happened.
Next, you should move out of the way if possible. You don’t want to cause traffic which could make your situation worse by slowing down the time it takes for help to arrive. If you can't move your vehicles, use early warning devices or cones to alert other drivers that an accident has happened. You can optionally report the accident on navigation apps like Waze to inform other motorists. Make sure you don’t leave the scene of the accident area until the situation has been resolved.
Talk to the other driver
Make sure that you have a calm and cool demeanor when talking to the other driver. It's easier to talk to someone with a clear and sound mind. Having both parties in a calm state of mind will make explaining the situation much easier and will help both of you come to a reasonable understanding quicker. At this point, you should ask for the other driver’s information and name. Make sure to do the same for him or her. Having your insurance information ready is handy at this point as you will also need to exchange that with the other driver. If you don't want to go through insurance, you can also talk to the other driver and ask if an amicable settlement can be made.
Insurance and Repairs
With the cars out of the way or if you are in a safe place, now is the time to go over the damage. If you can, make a call to your insurance agent as soon as possible and while you are still at the scene. Ask your agent about repairs and estimated costing. If you have internet access you can also opt to send the accident photos and videos to your agent. Doing so will make the insurance claim a lot faster. Make sure to also keep in contact with the traffic investigators on the scene. They make ask you to file a report on the accident which you should do. It’s highly recommended you do so for documentation purposes and to help further speed up your insurance claim.
If your vehicle can't move under its own power and needs to be towed, it's also best to call for the assistance of a tow truck. The MMDA, if on the scene, will automatically call for a tow truck if a vehicle in the accident area can't move. Don't worry, though, as this towing service is free. The vehicle will be towed to the nearest MMDA storage area or to the nearest repair shop. Moving it to the nearest repair shop, however, may incur a charge. When all is said and done, any accident you can walk away from means only the cars were damaged and no one was hurt.
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