Friday, August 14, 2009

Print and save: What to do if you're involved in a car accident

From the Washington state Office of the Insurance Commissioner, here are some tips from you might want to keep in the glove compartment of your car:

What you should do after an accident:

Every driver involved in an accident is legally required to remain at the scene. He or she must also offer aid and give necessary information to others involved and to law enforcement officers.

If you’re involved in an accident:

• Use all means possible to warn oncoming traffic of the danger at the scene.
• Give reasonable aid to the injured. Do not move them unless it is absolutely necessary.
• Notify the Washington State Patrol (WSP), city police or county sheriff, and if needed, request a doctor or aid unit and ambulance.
• Obtain and give necessary information for the accident report, including names of witnesses and police officers.
• If there is any injury or death, or if property damage exceeds $700 to any one person’s property, you must notify the WSP, city police or county sheriff. If you fail to complete a written report, when required, it may result in the suspension of your driver’s license or instruction permit.

It is equally important that you promptly report the incident to your insurance company. Also, you may be subject to other reporting requirements specified in your insurance policy. It is vital that you read your policy and know what you must do to file a claim.

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