If you were in a multi-vehicle accident and your car is damaged, you may not be able to drive it away. If you or another driver were injured in this collision, it's all the more important to make sure you can get medical help, but if your car is broken down, you may not know what to do. We're here to tell you.
The first step is to stay calm and assess the situation. If you or the other driver is badly hurt, call 911. If you don't have reception, enlist the help of a witness. They can drive their car down the road to get service. As you wait for paramedics, do what you can to stop blood flow. Don't strain yourself or the other driver though. In this case, it's best to stay where you both are and wait for professionals to help.
Your first priority should be everyone's safety, and once medical help has arrived, you can relax a little and start to figure out your next obstacle: your car. You still need to get it off the road so both you and it are safe from traffic.
What do you do if a tow truck doesn't come after calling 911? Rely on your roadside assistance program.
The last thing you need to worry about after a car accident is how you'll move your car. You can depend on roadside assistance to get you to where you need to go.
There are a few ways you can get a roadside assistance program. Separate plans usually work like a subscription. You pay a set monthly amount and can use a certain number of services per year. Companies like Carchex have this model. Some cars even have built-in OnStar buttons that call the assistance company at the press of that button, making it quick and easy for you to get the help you need.
You may also already have assistance through your car insurance policy. Many insurance plans offer roadside assistance add-ons, such as Allstate, Nationwide, Geico and American Family. It's convenient to have one bill for auto insurance and emergency assistance.
However, if you go this insurance route, remember not to talk with your insurance company too much right after the accident. Limit the conversation at the scene of the crash, and focus on getting the roadside assistance you need. Don't worry about reporting everything about the crash to your insurance while you're still dealing with the crash to begin with! You're probably in shock or may not have realized what exactly happened.
Either way, you're not in the right frame of mind to provide the best information for the claim. File the claim with your auto insurance after you've dealt with emergency medical care, the police and other urgent issues at the scene. However, don't wait too long! If you wait to file, your insurance company may not accept the claim.
If you're unsure how to navigate the insurance claim, that's okay. Accident.com and our network of personal injury attorneys can help. An attorney will work with you and the insurance company to protect your rights and ensure you're treated fairly.
Roadside assistance plans include many different services, including towing. Just tell the tow driver where you want to take your vehicle. Pick the repair shop you're most comfortable with. You don't have to go to the shop the tow driver wants to take your vehicle to. That shop may be farther from your home or unfamiliar with your vehicle, and the purpose of roadside assistance is to make your life easier.
Besides towing, a roadside assistance program can help you if the accident caused other vehicle issues. They can:
Prices vary based on your household, whether you need coverage for an RV, which services you want to include and whether you want an unlimited number of services in a given year. Annual prices per car can range from $40 to $500 or more. Although, a wide variety of affordable options would fit most needs for approximately $50-100 per year.
There are also differences among the companies themselves. For example, one company may offer a roadside assistance program for both vehicles and alternate forms of transportation, like bikes.
Selecting a company and a plan best for your needs may take a few minutes, but it can relieve your stress when you're in an emergency situation.
While fixing up your car is important, you are more important. Before doing anything else, seek medical help. You want to be sure you are healthy and well on the inside, even if you feel okay.
Then contact an attorney to make sure your other needs are met. You don't want to worry about repair and medical expenses or lost wages. You should focus on your recovery. An attorney can help you review your options and seek the best resources for your needs. However, finding the right attorney can be even harder than finding the right roadside assistance program. Accident.com is here to help make that process easier.
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