Top 10 Things to Know If You Get into an Auto Accident
We hope you never experience the trauma that comes with being involved in an auto accident, but with cases rising every year, it is important to be prepared. If you or a loved one happens to be hit by a negligent driver, we want to help you understand the steps that need to be taken in order to protect yourself physically and financially.
Unfortunately, car accident injury victims only have a limited amount of time to act, and we don’t want you to be taken advantage of by insurance companies. Therefore, below is a list of some things you need to know, and some essential steps you should take if you ever find yourself involved in a motor vehicle collision.
1. Check for Injuries.
Immediately after a crash occurs, it is important to check yourself and others involved for injuries and call the appropriate emergency medical personnel.
2. Move to a Safe Area.
If everyone is able, move yourselves and any drivable vehicles to a safe area away from other moving traffic. You want to avoid the possibility of causing more accidents and further injury.
3. Exchange Information.
It is important to exchange your information with the other driver involved in the accident. Be sure to get their personal information as well as their insurance information.
If there are witnesses to the accident, also ask for their statements and personal information. This information could be essential if your case turns into “he said/she said.” A witness to the accident could testify on your behalf regarding the events that took place causing the accident.
4. Call the Police.
It is important to contact the police when an accident occurs. An officer will file a police report, help document the scene of the accident, and even ticket the at-fault driver. This record and report will be essential to get you the compensation you deserve.
5. Document the Accident.
Using your phone, take as many pictures documenting the accident as you can. It is important to document the position of the vehicles, traffic patterns, damage to the vehicles, visible injuries, weather conditions, and traffic signals. All of this evidence will be helpful later when dealing with insurance companies.
6. Visit the Doctor.
Scheduling an appointment with a doctor or medical professional is essential. Many injuries will not present themselves until days or weeks after the accident and at that point, it may be too late to have the negligent driver’s insurance company cover your medical costs.
We recommend visiting a medical professional within 72 hours of your accident. Whether you believe you have been injured or not, a doctor can evaluate and diagnose any underlying injuries you may have sustained in the crash, as well as develop a personalized treatment plan for your recovery.
7. File an Accident Report.
It is important to have official documentation of your motor vehicle accident. In many cases, the police are called, and they will file an accident report and ticket the at-fault driver. However, if you need to fill out an accident report yourself, you can find that document here.
8. Contact Your Insurance Company.
Following your accident, it is important to contact your own insurance company and notify them about the accident. Informing them of the incident will help them proactively takes steps to get any necessary damages repaired and a rental car for you to drive while your car is in the repair shop.
9. Keep All of Your Documents Together.
It is essential to keep all of the documentation regarding the accident organized and together. From the accident report, medical records, and insurance documents, all of these articles will be fundamental to awarding you the compensation you need to fully recover after your accident.
Both your insurance company and an attorney will most likely require all of these documents so their importance cannot be overstated.
10. Contact a Lawyer.
A personal injury attorney is indispensable if you want to get the compensation you deserve after a car accident injury. They will handle all negotiations with the insurance companies so you can focus solely on your health and recovery.
In most cases, they work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are never any out-of-pocket costs and their fee will simply be a portion of your settlement amount.
Personal injury lawyers also usually work on a lien with your medical bills, meaning you will have no upfront medical costs either. An experienced car accident attorney can take the stress out of being involved in an auto accident by helping you win your case and getting you the compensation you not only need but deserve.
Contact Chaffin Luhana today for a free case review.