You're driving along and everything is just fine -- and then, in a split second, it's not. There's a screech, maybe the blaring of a horn, and then that sickening sound of metal against metal. You've just had an accident.
There are approximately 6,296,000 automobile accidents each year, many of which are fatal. In fact, in 2015, there were over 32,000 fatal motor vehicle crashes.
Even when no one is hurt, having an accident in your car is a scary thing. Once you have exited the vehicle and appraised the situation, you may begin worrying about the damage to your car, whether or not your insurance will cover it, and of course what you might have to pay. Chances are your adrenaline is running high, and it's easy to become upset, particularly if you feel that another driver caused the crash and that you were not at fault.
The best thing to do in this situation is to remain calm, first and foremost. Make sure that no one has been injured; if they have, call 911 immediately. If not, you can take a few minutes to look at the damage, talk with the other driver, and simply get your heart rate back to normal.
If you have your cell phone on you, take pictures of everything you can, before moving your vehicle if possible. The car itself, the other car, the roadway, any debris. Additionally, if there are witnesses, get their contact information in case the police need to ask questions about the circumstances surrounding the accident. The more information you have in this situation, the better.
Next, you'll talk to the other party. While you'll want to exchange information, including insurance information, it's important to remain coolheaded, even if you think they were at fault. Never apologize for an accident or admit your own fault; simply exchange names, phone numbers, and insurance policy numbers.
Unless the accident was very minor, you will also want to file a police report. When the police arrive, be open and honest with them about what happened. Have your driver's license, registration, and insurance card ready to show them. Again, stay calm and allow the police to do their job, without pointing fingers or trying to convince them of your innocence.
Once the dust has settled, you will want to have your car inspected by a mechanic to ascertain the level of damage. Whether that damage is mechanical in nature or just cosmetic, it's a good bet that insurance -- either yours or the other party's -- will cover it. You may want to get several opinions before submitting a claim, but you may also want to consider the collision repair Chandler drivers trust with their vehicles.
Although having an automobile accident can be an upsetting and inconvenient experience, consider yourself lucky if you walked away from it without injury. After all, the car can always be repaired or replaced. Keep perspective on your accident, and soon the experience will be in your rear-view mirror.