A lot of people spend their lives driving and never see a car crash. It makes them think that there’s no way that it will ever happen to them. Assuming that is a mistake.
With 6 million accidents happening every year, getting in a car crash is more probable than you think. You need to be prepared for when it happens to you.
If you’ve been in a road accident, there are a few steps that you can’t forget to take.
Check Everyone for Injuries
The health of everyone involved in the accident is priority number one after you get into a car crash. Check yourself after the collision to make sure you didn’t suffer any severe injuries.
Once you’ve ensured your own health, check on any other drivers and passengers involved in the accident. Offer anyone help that needs it. Just be careful about moving people that are seriously injured, since that can cause more harm than good if you don’t know what you’re doing.
If there are any injuries, call 911 as soon as possible to get help for the injured.
Get to Safety
Even if you have your car’s emergency lights on, there’s no guarantee that other drivers are paying attention. The longer you stay on the road after your accident, the more danger you put yourself in. You need to get yourself to safety as soon as you can.
If you can move your car, drive it to the side of the road. Doing this means other vehicles won’t need to take action to change lanes and avoid the accident.
After your cars are on the side of the road, get as far away from the road as you can. You don’t want to stand on the edge of the emergency lanes. Other cars don’t always stay directly in the middle of their lanes, so you put yourself at risk if you’re right on the side of the road.
Call the Police
Many people believe they can leave an accident if there isn’t much damage to their vehicles. While it might not be against the law to do this, it might hurt you when you file an insurance claim.
Always be sure to call the police whenever you have an accident. You need an official record that the accident happened and for an official to file a report. Having this report for your insurance company means you have less to prove during the claim process.
Unfortunately, not all police departments will send police officers if the damage isn’t bad. The good news is that you can still file a report. Head to your local BMV or police station, and they will handle the report for you.
Document the Accident
You can’t count on the insurance company taking your word when you file a claim. Their goal is to make as much money as possible while spending as little as possible with their customer claims. You’ll need to provide as much proof as possible if you want to maximize your chances of a successful insurance claim.
The first place to start is vehicle damage. Take pictures of all visible damage you can. You can send this information to insurance providers before you learn the real damage from a body shop.
Once you get a good picture of the damage, get the information from the other driver. You’ll need to know their name, license plate, and insurance information.
If there are any witnesses, try to get a statement from them. If you aren’t at fault for the accident, a witness will help you collaborate your statement.
Contact Insurance Companies
You’ll need to contact the insurance company after you collect evidence and file a police report. Try to take this step as soon as possible. Waiting to file your claim can cause problems if you wait too long.
No matter what, you should tell your insurance company what happened. Even if another driver is at fault, your provider still needs to know what’s going on. Once you get in touch with the insurance company, they’ll take your information and give you any forms you need to fill out.
Don’t be afraid to call your provider at the scene of the accident, either. They’ll let you know everything you need for the process. Doing this will ensure you don’t miss anything important.
Monitor the Situation While Waiting on Insurance
The information-gathering phase isn’t complete after you contact your insurance provider. You’ll need more information from your body shop and your doctor.
The damage to your car shouldn’t take too long to figure out. A trip to the shop should tell you everything you need to know. The problem comes with medical bills.
Even if you don’t have any apparent long-term damage, you never know what health problems will come up because of the crash. Keep track of your doctor visits so you can tell your insurance provider any current and long-term health complications you suffer.
Respond to Insurance Claims
The final part of the claim process for auto accidents is receiving the decision from insurance companies. If you’ve done your job, you’ll get a fair settlement in most cases.
If you aren’t injured, you should receive money to get your car repaired. If your car is repaired beyond average market value, you’ll total your car and receive money to purchase a new one.
Medical damages are different.
You might not always get the settlement you’re looking for in these cases. You don’t have to accept the decision of insurance companies. You can file an appeal for the claim.
You might need help during this process if you aren’t familiar with the procedure. This article will tell you more about how a personal injury attorney can help.
Stay Calm When You Suffer From a Road Accident
You can’t afford to make a misstep after you suffer from a road accident. You can’t always count on the other person to be truthful, and insurance companies will try not to pay everything you’re owed. Follow the steps above to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
If you want to learn more about the legal process, head back to our blog.