Nobody plans to get into a car accident. Nevertheless, whether it is your fault or the fault of another, this could happen in the blink of an eye.
According to research, there are over 6 million car crashes in the US every year. It's important to get ready a bit in advance since, regardless of how horrible the accident was, you may not be capable of thinking clearly after it.
Being prepared will safeguard your right to file an auto insurance claim against the at-fault party and will also be useful if the other driver wrongly accuses you of causing the collision.
So, to simplify the claims process, here are some things to do both on the scene and afterwards.
Check for Injuries and Move to a Safe Area
Find out right away if anyone is hurt. If so, dial 911 to summon an ambulance and police to the scene. In some places, contacting the police is necessary, even if the event was small and the other motorist cooperated. Additionally, you'll have a formal report to provide your insurance provider, which it will probably request.
Get the vehicles off the major road or to the shoulder if they are still moving, then switch on the danger lights. To avoid being hit by oncoming vehicles, whether motorcyclists, truck drivers, or car drivers, pull off the road. Set up any reflective emergency triangles or flares you may have to alert other cars.
Inform Your Attorney
One of the first calls you should make is with your attorney.
You should take precautions even if you think the collision was minor, since you don't know what could happen. Even if it appears as though your damages would be covered by the insurance company, you should have a car accident lawyer on hand.
It would be best to always have a reliable attorney on your side since you cannot predict a car accident.
For example, if you live on Staten Island and frequently drive there, you are well aware that this city has some of the most dangerous crossings. So having your chosen Staten Island car accident lawyer is a must, and it would make the process much easier. Don't forget that insurance companies merely want to pay the bare minimum; they don't care about your needs. With the assistance of an attorney, your rights and interests in the litigation will be successfully preserved.
Consider the Scenario and Provide Details
After ensuring that everyone is safe physically, it's time to start analyzing what happened and taking action to protect your rights. You must take the following actions:
- At the accident scene, take pictures of the vehicles and debris. Move the cars as soon as you've captured the scene on camera. But don't move the automobiles if it's not safe to do so.
- Never apologize or take responsibility for your actions. Although it may appear impolite, admitting guilt may hurt your chances of winning the case in court. You don't have to apologize or accept blame to demonstrate concern and take the necessary actions to receive medical care.
- With other drivers present, phone numbers and auto insurance information are exchanged. This will be important down the road in the event of any claims relating to the accident. Obtain the latest contact information of the other driver if they are uninsured. You should acquire the information listed below:
- Name, address, and location of the opposing driver;
- Information about the other driver's insurance, along with the policy number; the other driver's license number; the year, make, and model of the car, as well as the license plate number;
- Photographs of the accident scene, the involved cars, and any additional property damage.
These first actions will lay the groundwork for a solid defense should you ever need to file a lawsuit.
Inquire with Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance company next. Reporting an accident as quickly as you can is always better than waiting for the other driver's insurance company to respond or for them to file a claim. Give your insurance company the circumstances of the accident so they can start putting together a claim for you. They could wish to start by dispatching a claims adjuster to the spot to begin assessing it.
After a traffic accident, you should always contact your insurance company, no matter how minor the catastrophe appears to be. It must be finished by the deadline. In addition to the protection it offers, your insurance policy can also benefit from it. Your ability to get paid could be in jeopardy if you don't comply.
Why is that action important? It is essential for your security. Injuries sustained in a car accident are often not easily noticeable, and you may subsequently experience symptoms that require reporting to the insurance provider. Additionally, the other driver can elect to sue you if the accident's circumstances support it. Without informing your insurance company, you might not be given coverage.
Seek Medical Assistance
After a vehicle accident, it may be easy to decide against seeing a doctor if you seem to have minor injuries. But this is a terrible plan. As soon as possible after your accident, you must get a complete evaluation so that you have documentation of it. Often, days, weeks, and even months pass before people who have been involved in relatively minor incidents start to show signs of their injuries. Besides the more severe injuries, most of the usual injuries that result from a traffic accident require some time to emerge.
There are a few reasons for this. In the first place, an automobile accident sets off the body's "fight or flight" response, which results in an endorphin and adrenaline spike. This frequently causes an injury's agony to last past the end of the competition. You may not feel the pain of your injuries, even though they are rather significant, due to your enhanced level of excitement.
You should be aware that an automobile accident may have long-lasting effects. As soon as possible after an accident, take the appropriate actions to protect your rights so that you are prepared for whatever may happen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Content Creator / Editor
Fred Felton is a copywriter, editor and social media specialist based in Durban, South Africa. He has over 20 years of experience in creating high end content. He has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world. Currently Fred specialises in the motorbiking adventure space, focussing on all types of biking both on and offroad. He is also a keynote speaker and has presented talks and workshops in South Africa.