Auto accidents comes when you least expect it and can be very stressful. It doesn’t matter how careful you might be on the road, whenever you are involved in an accident you should to be aware of the steps and procedures you are supposed to follow to correct the matter in the most suitable and appropriate manner. Many people don’t take it upon themselves to learn what to do after a car accident. This can be very dangerous for you.
Whenever it happens, injuries involved might be severe and emotion might rise. There are things you are supposed to do in the scene of the accident, and after that incident or even long after. These are the kind of information that you must have in your car all the time if not in your head.
Stay At the Scene
Leaving the scene after you get involved in accident is an offence that you must not commit at all costs. You can only leave when it is appropriate to do so. If you leave the scene, especially if some serious injuries and fatalities are involved you are most likely to face criminal charges as a hit and run driver.
Check On Everybody Else That Is Involved
Life is the most important thing and whenever you get involved in a car accident, make sure that you confirm on the conditions of the drivers and passengers or pedestrians involved. If there is anyone who needs a quick medical attention, you need to call for emergency medical attention. It not advisable to move anyone with either back pain, neck pain or anyone unconscious without the help of the medical experts, unless the hazard requires you to move the victim from a more dangerous position.
Call the police
This part is very important and must not be neglected for any reason unless the accident was very minor and you both, as the drivers involved, agree harmoniously. If the property damage involved is significant, or there are injuries and/or death, you need inform the police. Make sure that you ask for a police report to be filled in a situation where the cops arrive at the scene. And you must obtain the names and budge numbers of the officers responding.
Obtain as much information as possible from the divers involved, the affected passengers and the vital information of the cars involved in the accident.While talking to the other drivers, make sure you are cordial and cooperative and not arrogant and offensive.Some of the information you need to have include.
- Drivers’ license numbers
- License plate numbers
- Basic insurance information
However how guilty or innocent you are, you shouldn’t apologize whatsoever at the scene. Apologizing that you are sorry for hitting the other driver’s car might meat that you are legally admitting the liability of causing the accident. This might be used against later if it goes to trial. It might not be clear who was on the wrong, or who was more on the wrong. In most states, fault is not determinative on which insurer is to pay for the losses.
Talk to witnesses
Witnesses can be very helpful in case you get involved in an accident. It is therefore very necessary that you ask them what they saw, get their important details like names, numbers and addresses, whichever is possible to get. You might ask the locals in there has ever been a similar accident around the scene any other time before.
Inform Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance company as soon as possible and tell them you have been involved in an accident. Make sure you cooperate with them, telling them the truth on how it all happened and the extent at which you have sustained injuries. At this point, you need to explain the facts as clearly as possible if you need to receive their help.
If your insurance company later finds out that you had lied in your statements, you are most likely to get into some serious problems that can lead to a possible denial for the accident coverage. Obtain any police report filed and review it well enough to help you point out to your insurer who broke what traffic rules or who among you was at fault.
Follow Your Medical Treatment Track
If possible you must note all the doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists or any other medical professional that you will receive treatment from. You keep details of all medical providers that might have referred you to another caregiver. Make sure you keep a detailed accounts of all the treatments and medications you receive after the accident. Request copies of the medical reports and bills because this will provide evidence of your medical expenses later when they will be needed.
Documentation of medical expenses is relatively easy and you must make sure your health progress after the treatment and how your daily life has been affected by the accident. Record any missed workdays and how your family has been affected.
Get Property Damage Valuation
You must obtain damage valuation from your insurance company. In case you are not satisfied at all with the way your insurance company will have valued your car, ensure you don’t give up. Get 2 independent repair estimates and/or replacement quotes. Inform that adjuster of your concerns assertively. In a case where you can’t agree on the value of your car, it is good that you try mediation or you consult an attorney.
If you are in apposition to take photos of the accident scene, photograph the damages and injuries as soon as it occurs. These photos will help your insurance adjuster to determine the amount of compensation that you are to receive for the damages that your car will have incurred and can be helpful in court. These pictures and the pictures you keep that show the condition of your car before the accident, will together be compared and contrasted to determine the extent of the damages.
Car accident is something no one would love to talk about but the truth is, there is no one who is exempted from getting involved in this catastrophic event. If you drive without taking these information seriously, and you experience an accident, your situation might become worse that it has already has. You should therefore know what to do after a car accident.