What you Should Do If You Got into a Car Accident
You got into a car accident? Then here are the things you need to do:
At the Scene When You Got into a Car Accident:
- Don’t leave the scene:Never leave the scene where you got into a car accident, especially if it’s a serious accident. If someone was seriously injured or even killed, leave the scene would mean you would face criminal charges of hit-and-run driving.
- Check if everyone’s okay: Before you check what damage was done to property, make sure people are okay. If someone is unconscious or has pain, don’t move them unless it’s absolutely necessary. Wait for the medics to arrive, if you can.
- Call for the Police: If you got into a car accident that is really serious, involving physical injury, damage to property or death, then the police needs to be involved. Make sure you police report and ask for the names and badge numbers of the policemen who responded.
- Exchange contact details with all parties involved: Make sure you get all the contact information from all parties involved. You need to get names, telephone numbers, drivers’ licenses, addresses, license plate numbers, etc. It would be a good idea to also get the contact details of passengers, if there were any.
- Talk to any witness that were present at the scene: If you see any witnesses to the accident, talk to them. Also get their contact details if you can.
- Take pictures of the accident:If you are in a condition to do it at the site of the accident, the take pictures. These pictures will come in handy when insurers have to decide how much compensation you should get for the accident. Additionally, these pictures can also be submitted as evidence if your case goes to trial.
After the Accident:
- Contact your insurance company: As soon as you are able, you need to contact your insurance company and let them know you got into a car accident. Answer all questions truthfully and explain the extent of damage precisely. Remember, if you lie about even one single thing, you could end up being denied insurance coverage.
- Take pictures: If you weren’t able to take pictures when you got into a car accident, then this step should be a priority for you. You need to have pictures to show how much damage the accident caused.
- Keep all your medical treatment records: Keep a detailed account of medical treatment your received. Copies of all bills and medical reports will be used to prove the medical expenses you had to incur.
- Get a Property Damage valuation done: Get at least 2 independent repair estimates/quotes for the damages. If you do not agree with the damage assessment done by the insurer, inform your claims adjuster.
- Be discreet: Don’t talk about the accident with anyone other than your insurer, lawyer, the police and your doctor (if necessary). If someone – another insurer – asks you about the incident, ask them to speak to your insurer/lawyer.
- Don’t jump at an early settlement offer: go through all your treatment first. Don’t settle until you know you will be compensated for all injuries you got in a car accident.
- Hire an attorney: Consult an experienced attorney, especially if someone was hurt in the accident.