Essential Apps To Have In The Event Of A Car Accident & Emergencies
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UPDATED: Nov 19, 2020
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Studies show that most drivers experience car accidents at least once every 4 to 14 years, according to CDC.gov.
Now, you might take this to mean that the likelihood of you getting into a vehicular mishap or hit and run is relatively low.
Even so, you shouldn’t underestimate the financial, emotional, and physical damage that accidents could cause.
Every year, motor accidents in the U.S. cause more than 30,000 deaths and over two million injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Even accidents involving low-speed collisions can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses.
A car accident can be quite a nerve-racking experience, even more, when submitting a claim to your auto insurer.
During the first few minutes, you will likely be shocked and confused and need to take a moment to think straight.
However, the first few minutes after impact are also the most crucial.
After ensuring that you and the other passengers do not have any physical injuries, you will need to gather the information to understand what could have caused the incident.
On top of that, you need to keep calm and get a grasp of the situation.
Every little detail you recall later could spell the difference between getting a large insurance settlement or being found at fault after investigation and getting nothing.
The good news is that there are essential phone apps that will help you deal with the aftermath of an auto accident.
Here is a quick sampling:
|AxiKit||Guides your driver and quickly sends you a detailed accident report with photos, recordings and vital information.|
|WreckCheck||Get diminished value claim for your automobile.|
|Collision Call||Automatically contacts emergency services at the moment of an accident.|
|CamOnRoad||Car crash detection and emergency calling system.|
|SOSmart||Algorithm based on real car crash data.|
Before we get into the particulars, it would help to know a few essential facts about such incidents.
Will the police respond to the accident?
Yes, if you call 911.
Police officers and emergency services are usually the first responders in a car crash.
Law enforcement officers will be responsible for getting witness statements and assess property damage and injury.
They will also conduct a preliminary investigation to determine which party is at fault.
Keep in mind that policies regarding paramedics and police officer’s dispatches vary according to jurisdiction.
In most cases, police and medical personnel are not dispatched unless there are injured people or the circumstances pose a danger to others.
The result of the on-site investigation and police report will determine the scope of your liability, insurance claim, and claims court, if necessary.
If you are found to be 51% at fault, you may not be eligible for compensation from the other party.
Below is how car insurance companies determine if a driver is at fault in a car accident.
|State Farm||Totals $750 or more under property damage liability coverage and collision coverage combined.||At least 50%|
|Allstate||A claim of at least $500.||50%|
|Progressive||$400 payout||51% fault|
|Farmers||$400 payout||51% fault|
How can a personal injury claim attorney help?
A personal accident attorney can be helpful in the event of an accident, especially if it involves “hard injuries” such as third-degree burns or traumatic brain injury that may lead to disability.
These legal professionals would be in the best position to advise you on your case’s necessary legal procedures.
Soft injuries such as sprains, muscle strains, or minor abrasions do not usually require legal representation.
Useful mobile apps for filing accident claims
Many mobile technology apps could be useful for dealing with an accident scene.
Some technology apps could help you in the process of filing a claim, while others could be useful for collecting information on what could have caused the accident.
Still, other apps could be of value if your speech is temporarily impaired due to injuries you sustained because of the accident.
Insurance companies offer apps, but for an automobile accident scene, most of them don’t cut it if you want detailed reports to send to your insurer.
Below is a sampling:
|Allstate||Mobile app to customers complete with accident support.|
|Geico||Has digital insurance cards, roadside assistance, and has an easy photo estimate for damages.|
|Esurance Mobile||Lets users capture accident photos.|
|Auto-Owners||Allows to submit road trouble request.|
|Farmers||Can report a claim, request roadside assistance, and stay connected with your agent.|
|State Farm Pocket Agent||Stores your insurance ID info and can easily call roadside assistance or contact an agent.|
|Progressive Mobile App||Can store photos from the scene of a crash, locate a service center, send roadside assistance, and call an insurance representative.|
Here are some of the most useful mobile technology apps for dealing with auto accidents:
AxiKit Accident Report Kit
AxiKit is available for Android and iOS devices.
Among all the apps we’ve reviewed here, this one is the most useful for creating incident reports to report to an insurance company and a claim adjuster.
It even has a voice recording feature for recording notes and details if you cannot type or prefer not to after your accident.
One of the best things about AxiKit is that emergency roadside service is usually available within minutes.
The system’s GPS technology allows responders to immediately pinpoint your exact location and even record the accident’s time and date.
AxiKit has helpful driver technologies for finding the nearest gas station and travel and lodging services that offer member discounts.
According to their website, the cost is 1 cent per vehicle per day.
WreckCheck will prepare a helpful checklist to assist you in the aftermath of an accident to report to your insurance company or any claims court proceedings.
The free app walks you through the process of writing a car accident report.
It even has a camera and a voice recorder that you can use to capture photos or audio files that will help your case.
Additionally, WreckCheck tells you what type of information to look for, who to share it with, and how best to use the information.
After the report is generated, you can then send it to your accident lawyer for claims court or anyone else who may need it.
It has a driver technology feature to instantly estimate your vehicle’s diminished value instead of waiting for your auto insurer to report an actual cash value during a car accident claim.
Available for iOS and Android devices, Collision Call saves you time and effort by compiling data from your camera, audio recording of witnesses, and injury charts into a comprehensive report to report to your insurance company.
Before you begin driving, open the app. In the event of a collision, emergency services will be immediately dispatched to your location.
Creating an account with Collision Call is as simple as it could be.
All you have to do is submit a photo of your driver’s license, insurance, and vehicle registration, and the app takes care of the rest.
Please make sure the app is on while driving; otherwise, it won’t be able to make an emergency call.
CamOnRoad is a useful, convenient, and free app with driver technologies that effectively transforms your smartphone into a dashboard camera.
Effectively, your own personal event data recorder or EDR.
Available for Android devices, it enables your phone to capture video recordings of the road as you drive.
You could then use these videos as evidence of the incident for later claims court proceedings, or insurance investigations.
SOSmart is a convenient and functional, and technological app that allows you to activate it manually or automatically.
You could turn it on before driving or set it to ‘automatic’ so that it will start as soon as it detects that you are on the road.
SoSmart, a free app, also lets you list family and friends as emergency contacts.
If you are unfortunate enough to get into an accident, the app automatically sends out alerts to the contacts you specify.
SoSmart’s GPS technology lets you know which hospitals are nearby and the shortest routes to get there.
If someone is injured and I try to help them, will I be held liable?
Always call 911 first and foremost when there is an injured party.
You will most likely not be held liable for helping out injured people who need medical attention as per the Good Samaritan Law.
It is always good to use your best judgment. Attempt to get emergency medical services to the scene as fast as possible.
However, if you decide to help, make sure to act rationally and avoid doing anything that will further endanger the people you are trying to help.
If you do not have the proper first-aid training, it would be best to call 911.
The Good Samaritan Law applies to bystanders as well as doctors.
The act provides some degree of protection for people on-site that wish to help injured parties even without professional medical training.
Understand your injury coverage
To better understand your insurance policy’s terms, it is advisable to consult with your insurance provider.
Most insurance policies include a “cooperation clause,” which states that you must fully cooperate with the insurance company during the investigation.
Failing to cooperate with the insurance carrier on a claim could result in the claim being deemed your fault when it may not actually be.
It is important to report all car accidents to your insurance company, regardless of whether it resulted in physical injuries or damage to the vehicle.
Failure to do so can be considered a violation of the insurance policy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my car insurance rates increase after an accident if it wasn’t my fault?
Most state laws prohibit insurance companies from raising your premium after a no-fault accident.
On the other hand, there isn’t a law where the car insurer can drop your coverage at renewal, according to insure.com.
It will depend on your previous claims history at renewal if the insurance company wants to keep you as a customer.
You may lose discounts from getting into an accident like the claim-free discount. A no-fault accident is still considered a ‘claim.’
Should I use my mobile phone to take photos of the car accident?
Yes, insurance companies recommend you take photos with your cell phone.
It is especially useful for property damage to automobiles, traffic signs, or buildings.
It is important to capture the position of the vehicles and where they are on the street.
If any bodily injury to people, including yourself, you should take photos if the other car accident victim(s) allows it.
Should I contact the other driver’s insurance company?
Yes, get the driver’s insurance information, including their license plate number and contact info, and call their insurer to report the accident.
An insurance adjuster will open a claim. Make sure to get the claim number.
There will often be two insurance claim adjusters—one for property damage claims and the other for a personal injury claim or bodily injury claims.
Should I tell the other driver the car crash was my fault?
No. An automobile accident is not the time to clear your conscience. It is time to make sure everyone is safe.
There is no contractual, legal obligation or reasonable effort for you to admit fault at an accident scene.
While you believe you are at fault, what you don’t realize is the other driver may have been at fault too.
Your degree of fault may be a lot less than you realize.
Law enforcement, investigators, and your auto insurance company will determine the party’s percentage at fault after the investigation.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners