Car accidents are inevitable. The most common causes of accidents include reckless driving, adverse weather conditions, speed, and distracted driving. Most of these accidents involve vehicle damage as opposed to drivers. Statistics show that out of every three car accidents, one involves injury to the driver and passengers. When involved in a car accident, consider the following tips to handle the aftermath of the situation.
Check Injuries and Seek Medical Attention
Whether you have suffered an injury or not, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately. Most damages caused by car accidents may not manifest themselves quickly. Call 911 for an ambulance if anyone is severely injured. Communicate with your health insurance company to transfer the medical bill responsibility to them. When you seek medical attention later, the insurance may deny your claim by arguing that your injuries or illness were not related to the car accident.
To avoid other accidents from occurring, take precautions. Keep your flashers and hazard lights on, set up flares, or use warning triangles to alert other drivers on the road about the scene. If the accident did not cause significant damage and the vehicles are still operable, they could be moved off the road to avoid traffic interference.
Notify the Police
No matter how minor the accident is, it is good to involve the police. Explain to the police what happened. Provide facts that can be verified and avoid speculation or guesswork. Ensure that the other party makes clear and accurate statements. If asked any question by the investigating officer, answer to the best of your ability. You may need a police report later on when you want to file a claim, and that’s why you need to call the police to the scene immediately.
Exchange Documents and Information
As you exchange details, minimize your interaction with the other party to avoid blame or admitting you are guilty. Most state laws require drivers to provide insurance information and your name. It is vital to collect the contact info of the driver, police officer, and any witnesses. Also, take note of the police report number. You can use the WreckCheck app to record everything that happened in the accident. The free application provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners will record the time, create audio details, and written information that you can store in your email. There are also insurance companies that provide a mobile application to help in keeping records of the accident. When you don’t have a smartphone, you can write down notes about the accident’s occurrence, including the time and the place where it happened.
Call your Insurance Company
Immediately after the accident happens, call your insurance company, and notify them about the situation at hand. The insurance company will give you information about the benefits and the coverage you will get. It is important to note that the insurance offers different compensation depending on the person that was at fault and coverage type you have. If the other driver was at fault, the insurance company would cover your vehicle repairs and medical bills. In case the party does not have an insurance policy, your own uninsured vehicle coverage covers the expenses.
Take photos of the visible damage to your vehicle. If you have any visible injuries, they should also be photographed. Take them as soon as possible to avoid interfering with the police investigation when the cops arrive. Photos can build up your case if you choose to file a claim.
To protect your rights, you need to consult a personal injury lawyer to deal with your situation. Accident laws vary from one state to another, which means you need to look for a lawyer that understands your state laws. For example, if you are in Charlotte, you need to hire a Charlotte car accident lawyer. A lawyer will ensure valuable evidence is not distorted. Before providing any statement to the insurance company or the police, seek advice from the lawyer to guide you on what you should say. A personal injury lawyer is also essential when filing a compensation claim. He will help you file a lawsuit on time. With an attorney, you are nearly assured of getting fair compensation for the damages and losses you suffered during the car accident.