An auto accident is an unexpected, sudden, and unintended event that causes injury or property damage. For about six million auto accidents occur in the United States each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Even the slightest accident can be a stressful experience and can cause trauma.
Due to trauma and emotions resulting from an accident, many drivers make mistakes that deprive their rights of compensation from the insurance companies.
After an accident, there are steps to be followed for safety and compensation. Having the right insurance providers in place makes the whole process smooth, as it caters for all the damage, even if the accident resulted from drug driving.
In the event of an auto accident, ensure to take the following steps:
Make Sure Everyone Is Safe
The first step after an accident is to determine whether or not all of the people involved are safe. Suppose there are serious injuries, dial 911 and request an ambulance. Also, try moving the vehicle out of the road to prevent another accident.
Suppose the injuries are minor; call the police to get a police report. The report represents an official record of the accident. If there is no damage or injuries, the police will record an incident report which signifies information exchange. However, if the accident is fatal, the police will issue an accident report to establish legal abilities and help the insurance process.
Gather And Exchange Information
After determining that everyone is okay, start recording what happened. If possible, take pictures of both vehicles, lane markings, and traffic signs around the accident’s scene. Pictures are essential for accidents occurring in remote areas or on private property, where police may fail to show up, and it can be challenging to know what happened.
Record the other driver’s contact, name, and insurance when gathering information. Also, write down essential details about the accident, such as the direction you were traveling, the street on which it happened, and any signs or spotlights. This information is relevant as the insurance company will ask many questions, and you need to have the correct answers to be fully compensated. You may also write down the names and contact details of any witnesses who can testify to what happened.
Conversations with the other driver should be restricted, only exchange contact and insurance information. Don’t apologize or admit you are guilty of the accident. Admitting you’re guilty may limit your chances if the case proceeds to court.
Contact Your Insurance Company
With all the relevant information at hand, call your insurance company and report the accident regardless of the accident’s severity. It’s a good idea to be the first to report the accident before the other driver or the driver’s insurance company. Give your insurance company all the accident details to allow them to start building a claim for you. Failing to report the accident to the insurance company on time puts your rights to be compensated at risk.
Call An Attorney
After reporting to the insurance company, the next step is looking for a qualified accident attorney, despite the accident’s severity. You need to ensure that protected since you never know what could come up later. Even if the insurance company promises to cater for the damages, an accident attorney is necessary.
Remember, insurance providers are there to make profits; they don’t have your best interest at hand and are looking for ways to pay you the least amount possible. Fortunately, an accident attorney will protect your rights and interests in such cases.
Once you have an attorney, you need to ask them the following questions before the case begins:
- What do you think about my case?
- How much should I expect to receive?
- Can mediation work well?
- How long could this last?
Seek Medical attention
After being involved in a car accident, you must visit your doctor for a check-up. A check-up is vital even without any visible injuries, as you may have experienced some internal injuries.
It’s important to note that most minor injuries don’t show up until a few days or weeks later. Accidents raise your adrenaline and endorphins, numbing the pain from an injury until the event is over. Therefore, make sure you get a complete body evaluation to be safe.
The Bottom Line
After an accident, it’s normal to be emotionally traumatized and confused. However, a clear understanding of what to do next relieves stress as you concentrate on seeking treatment and compensation. We hope this information is helpful and enlightens you on the steps you should take after an accident.