Distracted driving is more common than ever before. Auto accidents happen unexpectedly and quickly but can be difficult and take a long time to resolve. Accidents can be incredibly frustrating when you were not at fault for the accident and someone else’s negligence damaged your vehicle and caused you injury.
There are a few steps you can take immediately following an auto accident to help the resolution process go more smoothly.
Call The Police
If possible, drive or push your vehicle to a safe place out of the road. Even if it was a minor accident, call the police. It is essential to have authorities at the scene to determine liability and make a report. Having a police crash report throughout the resolution process will be advantageous.
At the scene, you will need to obtain all involved parties’ names and insurance information. This is another important reason to have the police there. Sometimes people will provide false or outdated insurance information. They may not have valid insurance or are trying to prevent their insurance from finding out about the accident.
The police can search for validated insurance from the person’s ID card and license plate, ensuring the information you receive is accurate.
Also, take photos and videos of all vehicles involved, the roadway, and any injuries. One of the first things you should do after a crash is to take a photo of the other party’s license plate in case they decide to leave before the police arrive.
If you speak to the other party directly, do not make any deals or exchange any money. It is in your best interest to handle everything through your insurance companies.
If you or any other party involved received serious injury from the accident, request an ambulance when you call 911. If you are unsure of the severity of your injury, go to the emergency room when you leave the accident scene. Most states have a time limit to seek treatment after an auto accident.
It is essential to seek medical attention if you are injured because auto insurance will not compensate you for your injuries without a medical record. You will also need to obtain treatment to help resolve your injuries quicker and relieve pain.
Continue your medical treatment in line with your doctor’s recommendations. Many injuries that result from auto accidents require follow-up treatment such as physical therapy to improve them.
After you seek medical attention for any injuries, start to organize your insurance claim. Call your auto insurance company and notify them of the accident to open a claim.
You can also call the other party’s insurance and obtain their claim information. This will help you verify that the other party has active insurance. If they do not, you may have coverage on your policy to protect you against this circumstance.
If you were injured in the accident, your vehicle and injury claims are typically handled separately. If you were injured, start by reaching out to a personal injury attorney. They will help you navigate both claims and get work toward financial recovery. Your car accident claim value will depend on several case factors, including:
- The severity of the impact.
- The vehicle property damage.
- Liability (how the accident occurred).
- Type of injury and severity of your injury.
- Permanency of the injury.
- The treatment you sought for your injury.
- Your medical history.
Getting in a car accident is a frustrating and stressful situation. Don’t panic, and keep a level head. Staying organized by following this process can help you, and your vehicle get back on the road quicker.