Car accidents happen all the time. It can be as minor as a car accident that only results in a few scratches on both vehicles, to a car accident that results in injuries and damages. Either way, being involved in a car accident can be extremely traumatic and stressful, an injury is an injury and they all cause stress to those involved, including yourself. Because the situation is so shocking, it can be very easy to find yourself confused and unsure of what to do, which is why it’s important to have a clear idea of what steps you’re supposed to take right after a car accident.
1. Contact A Lawyer
If you find yourself in a situation like this, the best thing to do is contact a personal injury lawyer and file a claim. This will allow an expert to take over and handle your case. They can deal with all of the legal paperwork for you that’s necessary when you were in a car accident, and make sure that you’re protected and compensated for your injuries and any property damage or loss that was involved. Apart from that, contacting a lawyer can help you protect yourself – even if you’re not the one that caused the accident, the person who caused it can try and shift the blame on you. This way, you’ll be safe and you won’t have to worry about anything else.
2. Seek Medical Assistance
Unless it was really more of a bump than an accident, you should always seek medical assistance in situations like this. Even if you don’t feel like your injuries are serious enough to need emergency care, it’s important that at least someone checks you out. Make sure they know about any of your pre-existing conditions as well, because these will likely affect how you recover from your injuries. If you had a headache and took some meds like ibuprofen you need to let a medical professional know about it. Medications like this can make it harder for blood to coagulate, so it’s better to let a specialist know about it. Also, you should have them check for any signs of concussion as soon as possible – this is quick and easy to do, but can make a huge difference in how quickly you recover from the accident.
3. Contact The Local Police Department
Even though you might not want to, as it can bring more stress and anxiety than needed, it is important for you to contact the police after a car accident so they can document the incident and do an investigation. This helps confirm that there was indeed an accident and if injuries or damage occurred. If you don’t contact them, they may not even know about it and won’t be able to do anything. The reason for this is twofold. First, in some states, you have a legal obligation to call the authorities if there was an accident. Second, it can help establish what happened and help you prove you weren’t the responsible party. The police also know how to take photos of the scene that will work as evidence should you decide to make a claim with your insurance company, or even take the case further.
4. Collect Evidence
After you’ve contacted the police, the most important thing to do is make sure that there is evidence supporting your story. You will want to collect any and all photographs of the car accident with the vehicles included in them, including close-ups of various parts of both vehicles. If possible, you should also get a copy of the police report, and a copy of your medical records. This will help to back up your claim and make it much more likely that you’ll get compensated for your injuries. It’s also important that you don’t do anything to tamper with or damage any evidence that can be collected, which would include taking things like pieces from your car or parts from another driver’s car.
5. Get In Touch With Your Insurance Company
Your insurance coverage probably has some sort of accident coverage, so you should go ahead and file a claim as soon as possible. The sooner you do it, the better your chance is to get compensated for any loss or injury that occurred, and without filing a claim there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to receive any compensation at all. This can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience, but it also helps to have someone that knows what they’re doing managing the process for you. It’s important that you take the time to consider what the insurance provider is telling you. Don’t agree to anything until you’re completely certain you understand every aspect of the contract you have with them and are fully aware of your right. Even though it isn’t supposed to happen, insurance companies can sometimes make it harder than necessary to get the claim you’re entitled to.
Getting involved in a car accident can be really stressful, especially if you have to go through the process of dealing with various insurance companies on your own. An accident like that can have lasting effects on your life, so it’s important that you do everything you can to ensure your road to recovery will be as smooth as possible.