You're enjoying another amazing drive in you recreational vehicle, or RV, when out of nowhere, you're struck by another motorist. Being involved in an RV accident is scary, even if the damage is minor and no one is injured. However, no matter if the accident is minor or catastrophic, it is vital to know which steps to take once the dust is settled and the crash is over. Here are a few tips to help you get through the time following an RV accident:
In the First Few Minutes after the Accident
Once the accident is finished, the first thing you need to do is make sure everyone is safe and unharmed. If anyone is injured, don't hesitate to contact 9-1-1, immediately. However, if everyone is alright, your next step is to determine if you can safely get your RV off the road.
If you can pull your RV off the road, do so. In some states, if there are no injuries and the RV is functional, it is illegal to keep it on the road. If you're not sure, the best move is to take your RV off the road.
However, if you cannot move the RV or anyone is injured, turn on your hazards and place road flares around the perimeter of your vehicle, if you have any.
If the propane tank was damaged in the accident or if you smell a gas leak coming from your propane tank, quickly close the supply valve and exit the vehicle. Contact your propane provider or the authorities right away.
Speaking to the Other Driver and Contacting the Police
After you've ensured everyone is alright and moved your RV, it is time to speak to the other driver. Whatever you do, do not admit fault – even if you are the cause of the accident. Instead, get the other driver's name and their insurance information, including their provider and policy number. Do not accept any cash on the spot or if the driver attempts to flee, immediately take down their license number or try to snap a picture of their vehicle.
Contacting the police should be your next step. If someone is injured, the damage is severe or the other driver won't admit fault or won't exchange information, it is vital to contact the authorities. Once the police arrive, give them your account of the accident. However, once again it is vital that you do not admit fault at this time.
According to Wallet Hub, it is acceptable to not contact the authorities after an automobile accident if no one was injured, the damage to your RV was very minor, the driver provides you with their insurance information, and both of your insurance providers can agree to pay for any necessary repairs. However, if you don't feel comfortable, it is always acceptable to contact the authorities at any time.
Contacting Your Insurance Provider
Contacting your insurance agent is vital, once you've spoken to the other driver and the police. It is important to contact your insurer immediately. In many cases, your insurer will have a condition that you contact them within a certain amount of time after the accident.
Avoiding providing your insurance provider with the details of the accident or your injuries. The adjuster may attempt to settle on the spot. Do not accept this first offer and instead, wait until you can obtain a police report and then provide your insurance company with a written demand for compensation that includes the cost of your medical expenses and the money needed to repair your RV.
Having Your RV Repaired
Once you obtain the money necessary to repair your RV from your insurance provider, it is important to contact a reputable auto body mechanic that specializes in RV collision repair, immediately. The insurance company may provide you with a list of names. However, if you have a mechanic you trust, go ahead and work with them.
If the damage to your RV is minor, resist the temptation to make these repairs yourself. Recreational vehicles are very complex and require expert knowledge and the proper equipment.
From making sure everyone is safe first to having your RV repaired by a professional, there are many steps you need to take in the minutes, days and weeks following an accident.