Did you know that more than 4.4 million Americans suffer car accident injuries every year? These accidents are often unanticipated.
Do you know what to do when in a car accident?
Unfortunately, most people don’t know the steps to take after a car accident. What you do after a crash will determine the viability of your injury claim.
If you want to know what to do when you get in a car accident, check out our comprehensive guide.
Maintain Safety and Get Help
Unless you’ve sustained severe injuries, it would be best to move the vehicles in a safer place (of course, after taking pictures or videos). Turn off the car and have the hazard lights on. You can further place warning triangles, flares, or cones to add to the safety.
The safety measures will ensure that you don’t cause further crashes. Once you have put the necessary measures in place, check if you or your passengers have any injuries that might need immediate attention. You can then call 911 for an ambulance.
Call the Police
Calling 911 should be a priority regardless of the degree of the crash. In fact, some states have made calling the police after an accident mandatory. If the police don’t visit the accident scene, go to the station to make a report.
The police have to record the accident. They usually take statements from the parties involved to determine the at-fault party. Your attorney will require copies of the police report to help through the legal process.
You should only divulge information about the accident to police officers. Anything you say at the scene of the accident might be used against you. Save yourself that apology!
Exchange Relevant Information with the Involved Parties
You might not know what to do when in a car accident as the stress of the crash might be heavy on you. However, getting the facts of the accidents is one of the critical steps you shouldn’t ignore. It is vital to exchange information such as the name and insurance information of the drivers involved.
It would help to obtain the telephone number of the other driver(s). The description of the vehicle, including the license plate, can also be resourceful in your case. Ask the other driver their car’s vehicle identification and details of the insurance company.
The names and contact of eyewitnesses will also prove useful. Don’t forget to note down the location of the accident. The more information you have, the more you’re likely to win the case.
When exchanging information with the other driver, avoid discussing any faults. Your insurer’s representative will be the one to review the claim and determine the at-fault party.
Document the Crash
According to the Insurance Information Institute, auto insurers have losses growing by 37.1% since 2006. The high expenses have made the firms to have stringent conditions when it comes to accepting claims. As such, you’ll need to have adequate proof to get compensation.
You might want to protect yourself by documenting the accident. Start by identifying the officers recording the accident. It would be best to get their badge numbers and names for easier identification.
The responding officers should further guide you on where or how you can get a copy of the report. Your claim will be more valid if you have the police report upon the insurer’s request.
As part of documenting the crash, take relevant pictures and videos. You can take photos of the damaged vehicles from different angles. Sharing the images with your insurance company makes the claim process easier.
If you have the WreckCheck app, it will be easier to report the accident’s details accurately. The app allows you to have audio and written details. Some insurance firms offer free apps to assist you when documenting the accident.
Start the Accident Claim Process
It is recommendable to call the insurance agent at the accident scene. The insurance representative will tell you what’s needed to process the claim. At this point, your primary role will be to collect information required for the case.
The insurer of the at-fault driver might try to deny claims. If you have sufficient evidence, this situation shouldn’t worry you. It would help to make a claim with your insurer, who will then reach out to the other party’s insurance provider.
The claim process is never seamless; you might need to hire a car accident lawyer. If you’re unsure of what to do in a car accident, an attorney will be a relief. You can hire a car accident lawyer from the onset to save you from the frustrations of dealing with the insurance adjuster, who might be hell-bent on frustrating your claim.
With the right documents, an attorney will increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. You can focus on your recovery as your lawyer handles the mess. Regardless of the pressure from the insurance adjuster, take your time to avoid settling for any suggested amount.
File a Lawsuit
You have a right to file a lawsuit if you’re not getting a fair settlement. Some insurers might not be willing to negotiate their offer. If the accident made you incur losses, you could file a lawsuit when the insurer insists on giving you a ridiculously lower amount.
It is crucial to work closely with your lawyer at this point. An attorney will tell you whether pushing for a lawsuit would be the best decision. The process isn’t always straightforward, and you need to arm yourself with the evidence and an experienced car accident lawyer.
Learning What to Do When in a Car Accident Can Help You When Filing a Claim
A car accident can leave you traumatized and stressed out. You might not even know what to do when in a car accident. It would help to follow the listed steps to give you headway.
The rightful compensation will make it easier for you to pay for medical bills and reimburse any lost income. Your lawyer is an indispensable resource during the process.
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