Have you ever experienced a car accident? If “Yes”, then you must be aware of the severe injuries and legal consequences that you have to encounter after a car accident. However, you can avoid these consequences if you follow a few steps immediately after the accident. Below are some steps to take after a car accident to avoid any legal issues.
1. Stay at the accident site
Avoid leaving the accident site. Otherwise, you may face severe criminal punishment for the hit-and-run driver. So, we suggest you stay at the accident site no matter how urgent it is.
2. Check all passengers and drivers
Passengers and drivers can face personal injuries as a result of a car accident. It is highly advised to check all passengers and drivers to identify any injury. Immediately get medical attention for the injured persons. Never move an unconscious individual or a person with back or neck injury until competent medical assistance arrives.
3. Call the law enforcement agency or police
Look for the property damage and personal injuries involved in the car accident. Call the law enforcement agency or police in case of a severe injury, death, or property damage. File a police report when the police officers reach the accident site and get the badge numbers and names of those officers.
4. Exchange information
Exchange information with the drivers being involved in the accident such as names, addresses, numbers, license numbers, insurance information, and license plate numbers. Also, obtain the names and contact details of all the passengers. Be cooperative and cordial with the passengers and drivers while exchanging information.
5. Exchange auto insurance information
Don’t waste any time in exchanging the auto insurance information with other drivers. The insurance companies of all the involved parties require this contact information to decide who will pay for the loss.
6. Never talk too much
It is advised not to get out of your car even if it’s your fault. Make sure to tell the truth, and stick to it. Never share your opinion with other drivers or passengers. Also, be careful not to discuss any injuries. If anyone asks you about your condition, just simply answer that your doctor will access your health condition.
7. Approach witnesses
Approach every witness and ask if he/she saw the accident. Get their addresses and numbers to contact them in case of help.
8. Contact your insurance company
Inform your insurance company about the car accident. Be honest with your insurance company and tell them everything in detail. Do inform them about your injuries or property damage. Get and access the police report to inform your insurance company about the culprit.
9. Keep a record of your medical bills and reports
Keep a record of the medical treatment that you have received due to the car accident. Keep your medical bills and reports with you to satisfy your medical expenditures latter. List all the routine activities that you can’t perform due to personal injuries. Also, you can search for law firms such as Lerners, where you can get explanations and advice about personal injuries.
10. Take photos
Take photos of your damaged property immediately after the car accident. Photographs will help your insurance company identify the extent of damage and its compensation. In this way, you can get good compensation for your car damage.
11. Remain calm
Being in a car accident can be stressful, even if it’s a minor one. So, if you forget to take photos or contact detail of another driver, then don’t be nervous. You will feel disoriented, even if you are fully prepared. So, be ready for such a feeling and remain calm. Just make sure to get the insurance information of another driver because it’s most important. You will have a minor chance of getting compensation from the other party’s insurance company if you don’t have its contact information. So, be focused on that and don’t stress if you have made a mistake elsewhere.
12. Obtain damage valuation of your car
If you are not satisfied with the damage valuation of your insurance company, then nothing to worry about. Get 2 independent replacement quotes or repair estimates. Confidently inform your insurance adjuster about your concerns. In case of non-agreement, consider consulting an attorney.
13. Hire an attorney
If you or your family member has suffered an injury, then do consult a well-experienced attorney. Your attorney will help maximize the recovery if you are injured. Plus, an attorney will better fight for you if you are guilty. Most of the car accident attorneys only charge a fee if you get a settlement or awarded damages. So, make sure to hire an experienced accident attorney.
14. Get your car repaired
Now, it’s the time to get the services of a garage or a tow truck to repair your damaged car. Only make this decision once you have accessed the type and extent of the damage. At times, the harm is not apparent at once, particularly it’s internal and thus out of sight. Under such a circumstance, you will identify the issue only after driving the car. So, it’s better to call a tow truck as you may be nervous about driving the car to the garage.
After reaching the car repair showroom, the mechanic will access your car and then give his viewpoint along with an estimated cost.
If your car has been badly damaged that it cannot be repaired, then the mechanic will suggest declaring it as totaled. At that time, you can either purchase the same car again or start searching for a new one. Sometimes, you will be required to leave your vehicle at the workshop for some days, so make sure to take off your possessions, including your papers and toolbox.
15. Beware of an early settlement offer
Beware if you receive an early settlement offer from your insurance company. Verify all your injuries and property damage before settling for a claim.
16. Never talk too much
It is advised not to get out of your car even if it’s your fault. Make sure, to tell the truth, and stick to it. Never share your opinion with other drivers or passengers. Also, be careful not to discuss any injuries. If anyone asks you about your condition, just simply answer that your doctor will access your health condition.