It’s always frustrating when you are involved in a car accident since it only takes a split second, but the impact will remain in your mind in the days to come. Accidents are unplanned, and despite the cause, you must learn to accept the reality and manage the situation. Around this time, the tension might be high, but there are some essential steps that you should take on the accident scene. The following are crucial steps that you should take to ensure that everyone is safe and that you get fair compensation from the insurance company.
Ensure that Everyone is Safe
Immediately after the accident, you should check whether anyone has been injured. If someone is injured, you should call the police or rush them to the hospital if the case is severe. Safety is more important than collecting evidence; therefore, keep your emotions in check and value other people’s lives.
Call the Police
Notify the police by dialing 911and request them to avail themselves at the accident scene the soonest as possible. Besides, if there is death, physical injury, or substantial injury, it would be necessary to inform the police. The police will interrogate both parties, and at this time, ensure that you give an honest account. Once the police have compiled the report, request a copy of the report. Take note of the badge numbers of the officers who responded to the scene.
Call Your Attorney
You are probably traumatized at this moment, and it’s always advisable to reduce discussions with the other party, and you should neither admit nor lay blame on the other person. Only speak to medical officials, the police, insurance agents, and your attorney. You should consult an experienced attorney to negotiate on your behalf since they will defend you if you were at fault or maximize the recovery compensation if you were injured. Later on, you will have to file a claim with the insurance company, and an experienced lawyer will help in the negotiations. When you file a claim after being injured by another driver, it’s usually their insurance company that winds up paying rather than the driver themselves according to David Preszler with Preszler Law. A good law firm offers a free consultation, and you won’t be charged unless you win the case.
Collect Information and Document the Scene
The law requires that you only give the other party your insurance details and your name. As earlier stated, limit discussing aspects of the crash with the other party. It’s essential that you collect information about the accident. If you have a smartphone, take photos of the damaged vehicles, and if you are hurt, take pictures of your injuries. Note down the insurance details and the name of the other driver, gather eyewitness contact details, the police report number, the names and phone numbers of the officers, and also write a description of the events that led to the accident. Besides, you should also sketch the scene if you don’t have a smartphone. You will need the collected data as evidence when filing a claim with the insurance company.
Contact the Insurance Company
Inform your insurance company that you were involved in an accident. Your attorney can manage the negotiations on your behalf, but ensure that you cooperate with them. Tell them the extent of your injuries and ensure that you have laid all the facts on the table. Be honest with them, since lies will compromise the chances of receiving compensation. Also, review the police report with the insurance agents and let them know the party that was at fault. You should also start the claim process at this time. The insurance agents will tell you the requirements that will fast track the compensation process. Also, they will tell you what to expect and offer you a settlement package. An experienced attorney knows a fair deal, and they will advise you whether to accept the package or file a lawsuit.
Have a Damage Valuation Report
Once you speak to the insurance guys, request for the damage evaluation report. You might be dissatisfied with the insurance company’s damage valuation, but this is not the end of the struggle. In such a situation, obtain repair estimates or a quotation from an independent entity. Besides, you can raise your concerns with the adjuster, and if you disagree, consider consulting your attorney.
Make a Follow Up on Your Medical Treatment
Have a record of chiropractors, therapists, and all medical professionals who attended to you during this time. Also, have records of all medication and medical expenses and account for all treatments you receive. Later on, you will need the testimonies and documents as proof of medical costs. It’s difficult to prove the pain and suffering you went through after the accident; therefore, have a record of how the injuries affected your life. In the document, describe how your family has been affected by the injuries, list the tasks that you can’t manage by yourself, and note the missed workdays.
Beware of Quick Settlement Offers
If the other driver was at fault, the chances are high that they might offer you a quick settlement offer. It’s unethical to accept such offers since you never know what the future holds. Besides, the insurance agents might provide you with an early settlement offer. Before you take the offer, consult your attorney, and ensure that all the physical injuries have been tended to. In some cases, injuries might reveal themselves months later. Beware of quick settlement schemes and settle a claim when you know that you have been compensated for all damages. Ensure that you involve an attorney before you sign any document.
Accidents are unplanned events, and you might be emotionally affected by the circumstances. The above steps will help you get justice and fair compensation for your damages. It’s also essential to gather evidence at the accident scene, and most importantly, you should involve an experienced attorney before agreeing on any settlement offer.