After getting into a car accident there are steps you need to take, make sure everybody is safe, follow the law and get your insurance claim process started.
As reported by the Insurance Information Institute, the below steps may assist in guiding you through important decisions you should make if you have been in a car accident, if it was your fault for the accident or not.
Check If You’re Injured
When you’re injured, call 911 or TELL someone else to do it. When you’re seriously injured, be sure not to move yourself, and wait for emergency services.
Check On The Well-Being Of Your Passengers
When you’re not too injured to move, check the safety of your passengers in your car. When anyone is injured, get a hold of emergency services, or TELL a bystander to call for help.
Get To Safety
If you can move, go to the side of the street or onto the sidewalk. When your car is drivable and may be causing a hazard where it’s at, pull it off to the side of the street. When not, leave it where it’s at and get yourself and your passengers, to safety.
If an accident is thought of as a minor fender-bender or a significant collision, calling the police is crucial — and in many states, it’s required legally to do so. The responding officers are going to fill out an accident report and document the accident scene. When the police are unable to come to the accident scene, you can go to the nearest precinct and complete a report on your own, according to the Insurance Information Institute. When filing a claim with your insurance company, they might ask for a copy of the police report to help with their claims process.
Wait For Help
Turn off the car’s engine, turn your hazard lights on and, if you have them, use road flares from your emergency car kit to alert other vehicles to slow down.
Also, be wary of “bandit” tow trucks, as warned by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. These tow truck drivers are ones you didn’t call that pull over and offer to help. It could be a scam. They have been known to convince victims into allowing them to tow their vehicles to what turns out to be not-so-legit repair places that hold your vehicle captive for an absurd payout.
After being sure you and any of your passengers are uninjured, or have minor scrapes and bruises, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. Be sure to take pictures of their license plate number and vehicle insurance card.
As reported by the Insurance Information Institute, the following is the most important information drivers need to exchange after an accident; everyone’s:
- Full name(s) and contact information
- Insurance company’s name and vehicle owners policy number
- Driver’s license(s) and plate number
- Make, model, and color of the vehicle
- Location of accident
The Insurance Information Institute suggests that you avoid discussing who may or may not be at fault in the accident. When filing an insurance claim, the adjuster going over your claim is going to determine who is at fault on the basis of an inspection of the vehicles/property that was damaged, information presented by you and the others involved, and any supporting paperwork, such as the police report or pictures from the accident scene.
Document The Accident
In order to help safeguard yourself, the Insurance Information Institute recommends taking the steps below:
- Recognize the officers. After the police get to the scene, get the name and badge number of every responding officer.
- Obtain a copy. Request the police officers at the scene where you can get a copy of the accident report. Your insurer might also request a copy when filling your vehicle insurance claim.
- Take pictures. Document the accident comprehensively by taking pictures of your vehicle from various angles, detailing the damage sustained to both vehicles.
- Take down names. Write down the names and addresses of every party involved, including the passengers in the other vehicle.
- Take notes of witnesses. If there are any witnesses of the accident, take down their names and their contact information, additionally.
Report the Accident to Your Insurer And Begin The Claims Process
You might want to get a hold of your insurance provider while you are at the scene or report your claim using the insurer’s app if they have one. That way, they are able to tell you precisely what they are going need to in order to process your claim and what you should expect throughout the claims process. When your vehicle is damaged and possibly undrivable, your insurer can organize a tow truck to have it towed directly to a certified repair shop.
An accident could leave even the most experienced driver frayed, but following these steps can help safeguard you from unnecessary concerns. That way, you can concentrate on working alongside your insurance company to get your vehicle repaired as painlessly and as fast as possible
A Lawyer Does the Groundwork In Your Vehicle Accident Claim
A lot of work is going to go into negotiating your insurance settlement, as well as trying a personal injury lawsuit. Following you being in a vehicle accident, taking on this difficult work is probably the last thing you want to do, presuming you’re able to. Handing over things to a knowledgeable lawyer can take a lot of concerns away.
Whereas this might be your first time handling the details of a vehicle accident claim, injury attorneys have handled all manners of claims and have faced the range of insurance company strategies. They have experience acquiring the necessary evidence to support your claim, comprising of collecting police reports, statements from witnesses, medical records and/or bills, and employment and lost wages information.
Your attorney is also going to be able to organize your evidence and create a settlement demand letter for the other insurance company. If you can’t settle your accident case, your attorney can take care of filing the required documentation to begin a court case and is able to deal with the defense attorneys for you. Having a experienced professional navigate the daily work of your case alleviates the burden on you so you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries.
What to do after a car accident | allstate. (n.d.). Retrieved May 9, 2022, from https://www.allstate.com/tr/car-insurance/in-case-of-a-car-accident.aspx
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