What to do in the event of a commercial vehicle accident
Commercial car accidents can happen regardless of the precautions taken by you and your drivers. Because of this, it’s important that you and your employees know exactly what to do in case an accident happens while on the job.
Following these simple steps can help you take control of the situation in the event of a crash, and have a smooth claims experience with your insurance company.
1. Check for injuries
Immediately after the accident, make sure no one involved is injured. If someone is injured, call for help right away.
2. Move to safety
If your car is drivable, move it to a safe location and turn it off. Wherever you are, be sure other drivers on the road can see you.
Remember to turn on your hazard lights and set out safety triangles, flares or cones if you have them. You’ll want to make the commercial accident easily visible to other drivers regardless of the weather or time of day.
3. Call the police
Even if no one was hurt, you should call the police if other people, cars or property are involved in the accident.
An officer may not be dispatched to the scene, but the police will want to know about the accident, especially if it’s blocking traffic. If an officer is dispatched, be sure to get:
- The officer’s information
- The police report number
- The police department the report’s filed with
When it comes time to report the claim, your insurance company will need this information to order the report, if necessary.
4. Get information from other drivers
Exchange information with the other people involved in the accident. Be sure to write down contact information for each person involved in the accident and any witnesses. This includes:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Insurance carrier and policy number (if applicable)
You’ll also want to note the following for every vehicle involved:
- Year, make and model
- License plate number
- VIN number
Taking photos can help speed up the insurance claims process. Include multiple shots of the damages caused by the accident and any other relevant information that helps describe the scene to provide to your claims adjuster later.
5. Stay calm
Remember, an accident is a stressful event for everyone, so tempers may flare. Try to stay calm and avoid arguments. Venting your frustration or responding to angry comments may make you feel better now, but it can only hurt you in the long run.
Keeping your cool will help you focus on gathering the information you need and get you back on the road faster.
6. Call your insurance company
Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Many insurance companies, like Progressive, offer online or in-app reporting that allows you to report a claim directly from your smartphone. In addition to both options, Progressive also offers 24/7 claims reporting over the phone.
Even if it wasn't your fault, it's important to let your insurance company know what happened. Be sure to provide them all the information you gathered at the scene, including the accident photos. They’ll be able to begin their claims process right away and answer any questions you may have. Plus, they’ll work with other drivers' insurance companies to help you get any necessary repairs made as quickly as possible.
If the crash happens in a place where you don't feel secure, it's okay to wait until you're somewhere safe to report your claim. But it’s best to do it as soon as you’re out of harm’s way so your insurance company can start helping you right away.