After being involved in a car accident, it’s not unusual for your mind to scatter into one hundred different directions. Accidents are unexpected and no one jumps into their car planning on getting into one. When it does happen, however, it’s best to be prepared.
Even the smallest fender bender requires preparations. With damage to your car, yourself, or your passengers, you need to know what steps to take to protect yourself and everyone else. This is true whether the accident was your fault or the other driver’s.
If you’ve recently been in an accident, or want to know how to stay prepared, then you’ll want to continue reading below. We’ve put together a list of several steps you should take after being involved in a car accident.
Here’s what you need to know!
1. Stay at the Scene and Check for Injuries
After being involved in a car accident, never flee the scene. If the accident was your fault and you flee, you could have some costly fees coming your way. If the accident wasn’t your fault and you leave the scene, then you’re taking the chance of having to pay for the damages with your own insurance.
Stay at the scene and check for injuries. Find a safe place, pulled off from the busy road, and check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Remember, some injuries might not be present until the next day or a few days later.
Right now, everyone’s adrenaline is high, and you might not feel pain as normal, so be attentive.
2. If Needed, Call the Police
If the damages are significant enough either to your car or to someone involved in the accident, don’t hesitate to call the police.
Having the police on the scene means there will be a police report filed. If you don’t see the police officer writing the report, request that they do so.
The driver at fault might also be written a ticket depending on the circumstances. You’ll want to have all of this information on file when filing your claim. If there are injuries, the ambulance will come with the police if not already on the scene.
3. Take Pictures of All Damage
Once everyone is safe, you can begin to take pictures. Take pictures of all the damage. This includes inside and outside your vehicle, as well as pictures of the other driver’s vehicle.
If the accident wasn’t your fault, these pictures will help paint the picture for insurance companies who can then determine who’s at fault. Pictures will come in handy if the other driver decides to not take fault. They act as proof for you when needing to get an
estimate for the damages and so on.
4. Exchange Information
Be sure to exchange information with the other driver as well. Write down his or her name, their insurance company, and their license plate number. Taking a picture of their insurance card will help you gather all of this information in a safe place.
If the other driver refuses to give you his or her information, then take down their license plate number. Be sure to give it to the cops and your insurance company. Having the license plate number will help you find all of the information you need to file a claim.
5. Contact Your Insurance Company
Now it’s time to contact your insurance company and file a claim. Give them a call and explain the incident to them. They’re going to ask you a few questions about what happened and will ask for the other driver’s information as well.
The two insurance companies will work to determine who was at fault. The insurance company that claims fault will be the one to pay for the damages and so on.
6. See a Doctor Immediately
Even if you don’t believe you’re injured, see a doctor immediately after leaving the scene or as soon as possible. If there are any injuries that you didn’t notice, the doctor will pick up on it. Many insurance companies also only allow a short window for you to see a doctor after the accident.
If you don’t see a doctor within this time frame, it could hurt your claim.
7. Don’t Discuss the Accident
It’s always best not to discuss the accident until the claim is finalized. Going to social media and posting about what happened can also hurt your claim. If you’re injured and plan to file the injury, you should also refrain from posting online.
You don’t want to say, do, or post anything that could disqualify you from getting the compensation you deserve.
8. Hire an Attorney
When significant injuries or damages are present, it’s best to hire an attorney. Knowing when you should hire a personal injury attorney is crucial. An attorney will ensure you get the medical attention you need, the compensation you deserve, and much more.
Your attorney will also be able to advise you on what steps to take after the accident. They know all of the dos and don’ts and can answer any questions you may have. Hiring an attorney is the best route to take when needing to protect yourself after a car accident.
Take the Right Protection Steps After a Car Accident!
Being involved in a car accident is scary and can happen at any moment. You don’t want to get into your car expecting to be in an accident, but you should be prepared.
Keep these steps and tips to follow when involved in a car accident.
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