If you are reading this article, chances are someone you care about is in a car accident. There’s also a good chance that even if you haven’t, you will be at some point in your life, considering that there are roughly six million vehicle accidents in the United States every year.
The consequences of car accidents can be extremely serious, whether it’s a month-long or even year-long injury or a lawsuit. If so, you may find yourself in a lawsuit that will drag on for ages. You could even go bankrupt as a result of a car accident if you don’t get adequate compensation.
This can be a lot to deal with, so knowing exactly what to look for if you are unfortunate enough to get caught in an accident is important. Before we get into that, check out this important list of all the steps you need to take after the accident.
The checklist for auto accident safety and insurance
● Look for injuries and call 911 if you, the other driver or passenger need urgent medical attention
● Call the police, especially if the other driver escapes from the scene or refuses to give you his information
● Exchange insurance information with the other driver
● Use your phone to take photos of damage to both vehicles, injuries and the scene of the accident
● If the police did not produce a report, file a police report and keep a copy of the report
● Keep copies of all medical reports related to injuries sustained in the accident
● Submit an insurance claim to the company of the driver who caused the accident *
● Summarize and document all costs associated with the crash, including lost wages and loss of opportunity
* You may be living in a state without fault. In this case, your own insurance company will cover your damages and injuries up to the insurance limit. The other driver’s insurance will also cover their damage and injuries, regardless of who is to blame.
Now, with this checklist in mind, let’s cover some important details.
The scene of the accident
After you’ve taken care of the basic emergency-level steps, such as: For example, to make sure everyone is safe and to get on-site help if there is a medical emergency, you need to contact the other driver and share insurance information. Don’t forget this step! You will not be able to make a claim without the other driver’s insurance information.
Use your smartphone while you are still there and snap photos of anything related to the crash. Get photos showing each side of both cars involved and snap close-up shots of damage. You will also want to take pictures of any injuries you have suffered.
Gathering information in preparation for filing a claim
Whether it is your fault or not does not matter in collecting the required information. It is important that you let your insurance agent know what happened. Filing a police report is also helpful for keeping a record of what happened and whose documentation can later be used as evidence. If you have suffered injuries, meet with your doctor and have your doctor provide you with written documentation about the injuries.
You should also start adding up your losses. Take your car to the mechanic and have the damage assessed. Add up your medical bills. If you missed work, add up your lost wages. If you’ve missed other opportunities due to injury, reach out to an attorney and discuss the loss of opportunity and how you can include those costs in your damage assessment.
Once you’ve documented everything and submitted an insurance claim, it will take some time before you receive a settlement offer. You don’t have to accept a billing offer. If you think an offer is not reasonable, you can choose to take your claim to a civil court if you think the settlement is not enough.
Before doing any of these things, you should seriously consider consulting a lawyer to discuss your case. A lawyer can help you determine what a good settlement amount is and what your chances of success in court are.
Remember, if you don’t accept a deal, sue and lose, you will only get away with legal fees. No matter what you choose, be sure to seek legal advice and not tackle the problem alone. Follow this link to choose a professional team to count on.