What to Do After a Car Accident in Puerto Rico
Learn the steps to navigate the aftermath of a car accident in Puerto Rico to ensure your safety & manage insurance claims effectively.
Oh, the dreaded car accident – a situation nobody wants to be in! Yet, if you find yourself involved in such an unfortunate event, knowing the right steps to take can make all the difference in ensuring your safety and managing claims effectively. So, grab your metaphorical safety goggles, and let’s take a crash course on what to do after a car accident in Puerto Rico.
Steps to Take in the Aftermath of a Car Accident
1. Ensure Safety First
Right after an accident, the top priority is everyone’s safety. If someone’s hurt, speed dial 911 and get medical help on the way. If there are injuries, remember, no sudden superhero moves. Do not move anyone who is injured as moving them around might do more harm than good.
2. Keep Calm and Move to a Safe Location
Now, take a breath and stay calm. If there are no injuries and your vehicle is driveable, move your vehicle to a safe spot that is not blocking traffic to prevent further accidents (i.e. car dominoes). Then, turn on your hazard lights and, if you’ve got warning triangles or flares, now is the time to set those up.
3. Call the Police
Even if the accident seems minor, it’s often a good idea to call the police and report the incident. They can create an official accident report, which is helpful for insurance claims. As an alternative, you can report the accident at a police station, but preferably within 48 hours.
The local police department Directory Available Here. If you cannot communicate with the nearest police station, you can call the command posts in their area and they will be attended to as soon as possible. Likewise, for any emergency situation, call 9-1-1 or send a text message to 9-1-1, a tool known as “Text-to-911”.
4. Gather Crucial Information
While waiting for the police, become your own detective and write down important details or take pictures with your phone if it is more convenient. Swap contact, insurance, and vehicle information with the other parties involved in the accident. Include names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail, marbete (digital tag) info, driver’s licenses, license plate numbers, make/model of the car, and insurance details. If there are any witnesses to the accident, obtain their contact information too in case their statements are needed later.
Proceed to document what happened, including the sequence of events leading to the collision, and don’t forget to note the kilometer mark where the accident occurred, if nearby. Make sure to obtain the complaint number (número de querella) provided by the responding police officer. Note down their name, badge number, and the police station they’re from.
5. Report the Incident to Your Insurance Company
After the dust settles, it’s time to inform your insurance company about the accident. Get in touch with your insurance agent or contact the claims department as soon as possible. Providing them with accurate and timely information is crucial for your insurance claim process.
🔔 Pro tip! Keep the following documents handy at all times in case of an accident:
🚘 Driver’s License
🚘 Current Vehicle License Registration
🚘 Insurance Information (contact info, proof of insurance, etc.)