Road accidents are very common in India, in almost all cities as well as on highways. Often, vehicle damage, loss of life or limb, etc., also result, if the accident happens to be a rather cruel one. However, within the city limits at least, most road accidents involving vehicles may be of a minor nature, wherein the loss or damage to self or the vehicle may not be so bad.
The worst part about accidents is that they happen, even when you are careful and may not have made any error in judgment or violated any traffic rules. Accidents happen because someone else has been careless, is drunk, falls asleep on the steering wheel or is in a hurry to get somewhere or some such thing. The one good thing though in such cases, is that nowadays most of us are covered by insurance for the accident for self as well as for the vehicle. So, the least we expect is to claim the amount incurred on expenses, in repairs or treatment. However, certain steps need to be taken in such cases to ensure that this process goes smoothly.
Whether you are at fault or not, if you are involved in an accident, it is important to keep your cool. The first thing to check is if anyone is hurt seriously and call an ambulance, in case it is so. Do not move people around, if you suspect serious injuries, as you may harm them; instead, wait for the medical assistants and ambulance. Also, call the police. In case, there is an issue of an ambulance not being able to make it, only then, move the people with the help of passersby or police officers to the nearest hospital.
If no one is physically hurt seriously, then assess the damage and meet the other party and discuss it out in a calm manner. Make sure to click photos of the accident with the vehicles, the license plates being seen and collect details of the other party involved. If they are at fault, you can try and put it across in a nice way, rather than raising your voice or trying to pick a quarrel. This can help things a lot. If you are distressed, take some water, and calm down before you do anything else.
Keep The Vehicle Away From Traffic
It is important to move the vehicle away to the side of the road, apart from the traffic, if it is possible so that you can discuss by the side in peace and not cause a commotion or a traffic jam. In case, the vehicle damage is so severe than you cannot move it away, then switch on the hazard lights so that people from either direction can see it. If you have a warning triangle in your car, please place it where other motorists can see so that they can steer clear.
With damages beyond a certain amount, make sure to file a police complaint and ask for a copy of the complaint. This is a must to claim your insurance in such cases. Usually, the police provide a write-up of what happened, instead of a formal FIR, in minor accidents, which can be used for filing insurance claims. Minor accidents can be settled on the spot with a discussion and an agreement for an exchange of some money that may be involved in the repairs, without requiring the insurance.
Inform Insurance Company
The next step is to inform your insurance company, or if you get your vehicle towed to an authorized dealer, they too will call the insurance assessor. The process will start from there, and you may be again required to provide in writing what happened along with photos, and copies of the police write-up, etc. Then the insurance assessor will take a call on further process and amount etc., in consultation with you and the dealer.