If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know it’s not a pleasant experience. You’re shaken up, maybe your car is damaged, and you have to deal with insuring your vehicle and working with insurance companies. The worst is dealing with the other driver and their insurance company who might try to claim or deny fault. While this can be a stressful process, it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems.
We put together 5 steps to take after a car accident that you might find useful.
1. Stay safe at the accident scene.
If your car is in a safe location, you can turn on your hazard lights. If you or your passengers are injured and need immediate medical attention, call 9-1-1. Otherwise, if you can’t move the car from the road, turn off the engine and make sure everyone is moved to a secure location away from traffic.
Call for help by contacting the police (if necessary), flagging down other drivers who may be able to help, or calling for emergency assistance. Do not move an injured person unless they’re in danger of further injury.
2. Call 911 and gather information.
The first thing you should do is call 911 and try to remain calm. Even if the accident seems like a minor one, it’s important that you alert the authorities so that they can gather evidence and write an accident report. If anyone is injured, wait for an ambulance to arrive on the scene, otherwise check if everyone is okay and then proceed with your next steps.
Your next step should be to gather as much information about the other drivers involved in the accident as possible. Ask directly for their names, phone numbers, addresses and email addresses — because you never know when you might need it later on. Do this if there are any witnesses present too — having them back up your story can be really helpful for insurance purposes or in court proceedings down the road. In addition to getting data from others involved in the accident, make sure that you write down notes about what happened yourself while everything is still fresh in your mind: include details such as time of day, location of accident (including landmarks), weather conditions and traffic conditions at the time of incident.
Finally, make sure to get information about other drivers’ insurance plans and vehicle registration details before leaving the scene yourself!
3. Call your insurance company
After you have spoken with law enforcement, it’s time to call your insurance company. It’s best if you can do this while you are still at the scene of the accident in order to provide them with as much detail as possible. Be sure that when you speak with an insurance representative, they give you their name, phone number and claim number (if one has been created). Be sure that when speaking with insurance representatives that you do not give a recorded statement to anyone other than your own insurance company.
If there are injuries involved in the accident or if there are questions about who is responsible for damages or injuries caused in a car accident situation, it is best if everyone calls their own attorneys immediately after leaving the scene of an accident.
4. Work with a local car accident lawyer
This is one of the most important parts of the process. The best thing you can do is work with a local car accident lawyer who has experience dealing with insurance companies and can help you get the compensation you deserve.
The best way to find a good lawyer is by asking around or checking online reviews. You should also ask for referrals from friends and family members who have gone through this process before, as they will be able to give you honest feedback about their experience working with local lawyers.
If you’re uncertain about whether or not your case involves an injury, then it’s best to speak with an attorney before filing any paperwork or making any statements to the insurance company. Insurance companies will often try to settle quickly so that they can limit their losses on an injury claim, but if they think that there’s a chance that your injuries are serious enough to cause long-term problems or even death, then they may be more likely to offer less money for their own benefit rather than risk paying out more money in the future.
5. Get medical care.
Even if you don’t think you are hurt, it is important to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident. You may have an injury that you don’t even feel yet because of the adrenaline rush that accompanies a crash. You may need physical therapy for your injuries that might restrict your movement. You may not know, but SNS masks some problems after a traumatic event: click the URL here for more information.
Symptoms like dizziness, nausea, headache or back pain may develop over time following an accident. Not all injuries show up right away, so make sure you get evaluated by a doctor after any wreck.
Keep copies of your records and bills related to the accident and your injuries. If this work is done through an HMO or other health organization with whom you have insurance coverage, be sure to keep track of everything related to your injury claim as well as any treatment received through the HMO or other health organization.
Make sure your doctors know how you were injured and what specific symptoms you are experiencing from the car accident.
Knowing what to do after an auto accident can protect your rights in the future.
Even small accidents can lead to larger problems. Ideally, you will walk away from an accident without anything more than a bruise or a few scratches. However, there are many ways in which an auto accident can become more serious, which is why it’s important know what to do after one. The first thing to remember is that your safety comes first. After getting any injuries treated at the hospital, be sure to file a police report while they are still fresh in your mind. Don’t wait weeks or months – ask your car accident lawyer for advice if you’re not sure how to proceed.