While there is no convenient time to get into an accident, there is perhaps no less convenient time than when you’re on your way to work. As you’re already mentally preparing for the day ahead, you suddenly add a new level of stress in addition to the extensive recovery process you now may face. To help you handle a morning commute accident, here are a few things you should do if one occurs.
Get off the Road
Unless there are injuries as a result of the accident, it’s important to remove the vehicles involved in the accident from the road as quickly as possible. Especially if the accident occurs during the morning rush hour, leaving the cars in the roadway can cause major backups that can greatly inconvenience other commuters. In addition, removing the cars from the road helps keep you and the other motorist safe.
Call Your Office
After moving the vehicles, the first thing you should do after an accident on the way to work is to call your workplace. You’ll want to let them know what has happened and that you will, most likely, be late to work, if you are able to make it in at all. You should do this first (as long as you aren’t injured) because it can be easy to forget to do so once you get into the process of filling police reports and exchanging insurance information. Plus, if you forget, you risk facing trouble at work in addition to the troubles you face as a direct result of the accident.
Call the Police
As with any accident, you will want to call the police so they can come to the scene and fill out an accident report. This report is crucial for a successful claims process with your insurance company. In addition, an official accident report can serve as a valuable piece of evidence that a car accident lawyer can use during an injury lawsuit.
Call Your Insurance Company
In the event of an accident, you don’t want to waste any time when it comes to filing a claim with your insurance company. Whether you were at fault or not, quickly alerting your insurance company ensures that your claim can be processed properly. Delaying the claims process could result in a delay in benefits or even a denial of benefits altogether. In addition, you may be entitled to a worker’s compensation claim depending on your state if you are paid by your employer for your travel to or from home, or if you were running an errand or picking up office supplies.
Above all, it’s important to stay calm throughout the entire process. Though you will undoubtedly be shaken as a result of the accident, staying calm will help you complete the above steps quickly and efficiently. Remember that your safety comes first, and as long as you remember to reach out to your office immediately after the accident, you shouldn’t have to worry about negative outcomes from being late or absent.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan