Car accidents are, unfortunately, a common occurrence on the roads. However, knowing what to do after a crash is essential to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights.
This article will cover the steps you should take after a crash, including what to do at the scene, how to handle insurance claims, and what to do if you’re injured.
What to do at the Scene of the Accident
The first thing you should do after a crash is to ensure the safety of everyone involved. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. If the accident is minor and there are no injuries, you can still call the police to report the accident. Once emergency services have been called, move your vehicle to a safe location if it’s blocking traffic.
Next, exchange information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. You’ll need their names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the damage to both vehicles and the accident scene. This can be helpful later on when making an insurance claim.
It’s also important to stay calm and not admit fault for the accident. Even if you believe you were at fault, it’s best to let the police and insurance companies determine fault.
Handling Insurance Claims
Once you’ve exchanged information with the other driver(s) and taken pictures of the damage, it’s time to contact your insurance company. Inform them of the accident and provide them with the information you’ve gathered from the other driver(s). Be sure to provide them with any pictures you’ve taken as well.
Your insurance company will open a claim and assign an adjuster to investigate the accident. The adjuster will contact the other driver’s insurance company and gather information to determine the fault. They’ll also assess the damage to your vehicle and give you an estimate for repairs.
It’s important to remember that insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and they may try to settle the claim quickly and for less than the damages are worth. It’s a good idea to get your own estimate for repairs and seek an attorney’s advice if you believe the insurance company is not treating you fairly.
If You’re Injured
If you’re wounded in a vehicle crash, it’s essential to get medical attention immediately. Even if you don’t think your injuries are severe, it’s still a good idea to go for a checkup. Some wounds, like whiplash, may become apparent several days later.
It’s also a good idea to consult with an attorney if you’re wounded in a vehicle crash. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
If there were any witnesses to the accident, it’s essential to get their contact information. They can provide valuable information to the police and insurance companies when determining fault. It is also vital to obtain the names, phone numbers and addresses of any people who saw the accident so they can be contacted later as witnesses. It is also advisable to take notes of what each witness saw and heard, as it can be helpful evidence in court.
Keep a Record of Expenses
After a crash, you may incur expenses such as medical bills, car repairs, rental cars, and other miscellaneous expenses. It’s essential to keep track of all expenses related to the accident, including receipts and bills. This will be necessary when making an insurance claim or pursuing legal action. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the bills and receipts for a visual record.
Seek Legal Advice
As we have mentioned more than once, if you’re involved in a vehicle accident, it’s a good idea to seek legal advice, even if the accident is minor. An attorney can advise you on your entitlements and help you navigate the legal process, especially if the other party is disputing fault or denying liability. An attorney can also help you negotiate a settlement with the insurance company or take legal action if necessary.
Be Prepared for Insurance Investigation
When making an insurance claim, it’s essential to be prepared for an insurance investigation. The insurance company will send an adjuster to investigate the accident and assess the damages. During this process, the adjuster may ask for additional information and documentation. It’s important to be cooperative and provide any requested information to avoid delays in the claims process. Additionally, you can ask your attorney for guidance if you have any doubts or questions about their investigation.
Statute of Limitations and Determining the Value of your Claim
In addition to the steps outlined above, it’s also essential to know the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in your state. The statute of limitations is when you can file a lawsuit for personal injuries sustained in a vehicle accident. This period varies by state, and if you don’t file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you may be barred from seeking compensation for your injuries.
Another critical aspect of personal injury claims is determining the value of your claim. This includes the cost of medical treatment and repairs and the impact that the injuries have had on your life, such as lost wages and pain and anguish. The attorneys at DolmanLaw.com can help you determine the value of your claim and negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
It’s also important to be aware that some insurance companies may try to offer you a low settlement or deny your claim outright. In such cases, it is best to consult with an attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Being involved in a vehicle accident can be a traumatic and stressful experience. However, knowing what to do after a crash is essential to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights. Remember to call 911 if anyone is injured, exchange information with the other driver(s), and contact your insurance company. If you’re injured, seek medical attention and consult an attorney. By following these steps, you can make sure you’re taken care of after a crash.