What To Do After You Have Been In a Car Accident

Car accidents happen even to the most careful of drivers. You may do your best, obey the traffic rules, and be in your best state while driving but still get into an accident.

If you’ve been in an accident, there are several things you need to do as soon as possible to protect yourself and your car, depending on the injuries and damages, respectively. Below we explore some of the things you ought to do after a car accident:

Prioritize Your Safety and That of Your Occupants

Immediately after the accident, move away from the scene to a safe distance. If the scene is not well lit, there’s a possibility of being rammed by another vehicle if hazard lights are not on.

There are also instances where vehicles catch fire a few minutes after a collision, and you do not want to be trapped in a burning car with your loved ones. However, do not leave the scene since you could be framed and end up paying the damages.

Call the Ambulance, 911, or Fire Services Depending on the Emergency

Pedestrian after car accident

If there are injuries, call the ambulance to ensure the injured get first aid and are rushed to the hospital. If there’s a fire, call the fire services. Since the fire may escalate in a very short time,  you can try to extinguish it if you have the right equipment. This can help save lives and millions from losses.

Call the police to have a record of the car accident. If the police cannot come to the scene, pass by a police station and file a report. This can save you a lot of trouble in the future. Some states allow up to 72 hours for you to file a report, so never assume you are too late.

Document the Car Accident Scene

As you wait for the arrival of the above services, document the accident scene. Take photos and videos of both vehicles at different angles, the surrounding areas, landmarks, and road signage. You may record witness accounts if there are any witnesses to the accident. These can play a key role in determining who was at fault.

Avoid Discussing the Accident and Making Deals

Do not admit to any wrongdoing even if you are at fault. Do not accept blame from the other driver or the witnesses either. The police report should show who is at fault.

Insurance agents at the scene may try to convince you to have gentlemen’s agreements. Do not accept such agreements or any roadside cash payments however significant the sum is. An insurance claim is the only sure way the compensation will be commensurate with the accident.

Collect Important Information

Get key information about everyone involved in the accident, beginning with the other driver. This includes their name, phone number, address, driver’s license, and the driver’s relationship with the car owner since they could be employees of a company and the company’s insurance is liable.

Collect witnesses ‘ contacts, too, if they are willing to give them out. Gather all the information related to the vehicle, such as make, color, model, plate number, insurance policy number, and any other related information.

Notify your Insurance for the Claim Process

Provide all the information needed by your insurance and wait for insurance adjusters to determine fault. They also determine what you receive if your car needs repairs or replacement. After filing a claim, you need to wait for the verdict before determining the next step.

Get Medical Care

Visit a doctor for a checkup even if there are no visible injuries. Some injuries and bleeding do not manifest immediately and may be discovered when it’s too late. Keep the doctor’s records safe since they are key while making a claim.

File a Lawsuit If Necessary

If you don’t agree with the adjuster’s findings, contact your lawyer and file a lawsuit. This is necessary if you are sure you were not at fault and the compensation is not commensurate with the damages. Ensure you have all the relevant documentation, including medical reports.

An accident is a difficult event for everyone involved, but ignoring the above steps could lead to more problems in the future. Regardless of the magnitude of the accident, do the best you can to protect yourself.

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