A car crash is one of the most horrifying experiences one could go through. Sadly, in the midst of all the confusion and possibly, injuries, you as the victim still have a crucial role to play in ensuring that your rights are protected after getting into an accident.
In this guide, we will discuss some of the most important things that you need to do after an accident. These tips will not only help you protect your legal rights, but they will also save you lots of money and time as you move on from the crash.
1. Try To Stay Calm
Accidents are very traumatic events. Some victims blank out after the crash, while others get outraged and start shouting at the other driver. Whichever group you fall under, it’s critical to maintain your composure and approach the situation with your wits intact.
For starters, raging at the other driver does more harm than good. In fact, the words you say to them can prove costly when filing for a claim.
If you are the type to blank out after an accident, try to recollect yourself because the next steps are crucial. For one, you need to ensure you are not in immediate danger from other motorists.
2. Check If Anyone Needs An Ambulance
After regaining your composure, look around for anyone who may require immediate medical help. Talk to your passengers if you had any and ask if they are okay. Check around your car for any pedestrians.
If you can, walk out of your car and check on the other driver. Do they need immediate medical assistance? This step is critical because you don’t want to appear negligent in case the accident leads to serious legal issues.
While you may not require immediate medical help at the scene, it’s good to go for a check-up as soon as you are done at the scene. In fact, physicians would recommend you call the emergency medical responders even if you feel okay. That’s because issues like concussions may not present any symptoms at the scene, but they can cause catastrophic effects if left untreated.
3. Photograph The Scene If You Can
Take photographs of the scene as comprehensively as possible. Capture the collision from multiple angles showing all damages, including the minor ones. Debris, skid marks, and broken glass are also crucial pieces of evidence.
It’s vital to capture the scene around that accident as well. Many motorists make the mistake of photographing the damage done by Rear-end collisions, side-impact crashes, and other types of accidents without showing the entire scene. This can delay the claim since the images may not represent the context adequately. That’s an unnecessary complication you don’t want.
If you are unable to document the evidence yourself, find someone nearby and ask them for assistance.
4. Call The Police
In states like California, the law does not mandate you to call the police unless the accident resulted in injuries, death, and expensive damage. However, failure to report a serious road accident can get you in trouble. Therefore, always call the police and file a report regardless of how minor the accident may appear.
Alternatively, you can go to the nearest police station and file your report there. The report can protect you should the other party decide to sue later on.
5. Exchange Insurance And Contact Details
It’s required by law to share insurance details after an accident that has caused human injuries or property damage. You’re supposed to get a name, insurance information, and licenses plate number.
What happens if the other driver refuses to share his/her details? Report the incident to the police as soon as possible. They’ll help you get the insurance details you need to get your compensation.
6. File A Report With Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company can fight your claim if you fail to report the accident as soon as it happens. They may also use this as grounds to reduce your compensation. Do not give them that leeway.
Report the crash as soon as possible. Luckily, this is pretty easy to do since most insurance providers allow their clients to file the report online and by phone.
7. Consider Hiring An Auto Insurance Attorney
The other driver’s insurance company can fight your claim or give you a terrible settlement. Your own provider may also frustrate you. In such circumstances, an experienced auto insurance attorney will be of great value. They will take the burden off your shoulders and fight to get you a fair settlement.
Hopefully, the above guide has given you the insights you needed to smoothen your post-accident experience.