Car accidents can be traumatic and costly experiences. That’s why people research the most common causes and how to avoid them. If you’ve recently been involved in one you may be speaking with insurance companies, consulting a lawyer, repairing your car, and receiving medical treatment. In this article, we’ll provide a how-to guide on handling the aftermath of a car accident.
Get Your Car Repaired Or Replaced
If you have collision coverage on your auto insurance policy, they’ll pay to repair your car (minus your deductible). If you don’t have this coverage, you’ll have to pay for repairs yourself. If your car’s totaled, you should receive a check for the value of your car from the other driver’s insurance company. It’s always a good idea to get multiple estimates before you commit to having any work done. Make sure the repair shop you choose is reputable—you don’t want to end up with shoddy workmanship that causes further problems later on.
You can find out more on this subject by going online and making a few Google searches. You’ll be able to discover how to get car repair bills paid after a car accident and what damages you can recover. There’s guidance on who’s responsible to pay for repairs and what to do if your car’s totaled or if the repairs cost more than the estimate.
Involve A Lawyer
An experienced car accident attorney can explain what your rights are. They can also help you navigate the legal process and get the compensation you deserve. They’ll conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to identify all potential sources of liability. This may include talking to witnesses, reviewing police reports, and inspecting the accident scene.
Once liability’s been established, your lawyer will gather evidence to support your claim for damages. This may include medical records, bills, pay stubs, and photographs. Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance companies to get you the best possible settlement. If you’re not offered a reasonable sum, your lawyer will take your case to trial.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
The first and most important thing to do is to seek a medical assessment, even if you don’t think you’re injured. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and many injuries (e.g. internal ones and whiplash) may not present symptoms immediately. It’s also a fact that adrenaline can mask physical pain. By seeing a medical professional you’ll have the opportunity to catch any injuries early and receive the necessary treatment. You can receive guidance on how to best care for yourself and reduce any anxiety about your health and well-being.
if you have health insurance, your insurer will likely cover the cost of your medical care (minus your deductible and copay). If you don’t have this, you may be able to get treatment through the other driver’s liability insurance policy. By seeking instant medical attention it’ll create a record of your injuries that’ll be important if you file a personal injury claim later on. If you delay this the other party could maintain that you sustained your injuries on another occasion.
Collect Contact Details And Notify The Police
Immediately after a car accident, you should collect the contact information of the other driver/s involved. This includes their names, addresses (including email), phone numbers, and insurance information. It’s important to have this in case you need to file a claim with their insurance company or take legal action against them. Make sure the person driving was the actual owner of the vehicle. If there were any others who witnessed the incident, you should also get their contact information. They can provide valuable testimony if your case goes to court.
In most car accident scenarios the police should be notified and asked to attend the scene. They’ll create an accident report which can be used as evidence if you need to file an insurance claim or take legal action. The police can tell you if there are any traffic cameras in the area that may have recorded the accident. If so, they can help you obtain the footage.
Everything and anything that’s connected to the accident should be photographed. This includes all vehicles involved (with photos showing any damage) and their license plates. Also take photos of:
- any physical injuries received by you or your passengers
- skid marks on the road
- debris from the accident
- general location/layout of the accident scene
- any evidence showing the road wasn’t properly maintained (e.g. potholes, overhanging trees, poor lighting, loose gravel etc.)
If you have a camera phone on you, take as many pictures as possible. If not, ask a bystander to do this for you. The more photos you have, the easier it’ll be to back up your version of events later on.
Be Careful With Communication
When you’re talking to insurance companies, be very careful about what you say. Even if you’re not at fault, they’ll try to find a way to minimize the amount of money they have to pay out. This means that they’ll look for any opportunity to trip you up and use your words against you. For this reason, it is always best to consult with an attorney before giving a statement to an insurance company.
Be careful about what you post on social media because insurance companies will try to find a way to access this information. If you say something that contradicts your statement to the insurance company, they’ll use it against you. For this reason, it’s best to avoid posting anything about the accident or your injuries on social media. If you’re signed off work due to injury, photos of you at the gym or on vacation could compromise your legal claim.
If you apply these helpful tips you’ll know what to do and who to speak to, and will be best placed for a satisfactory outcome. Hopefully, you’ll recover from your injuries and will be able to return to work. If another party was responsible for the accident, you should receive fair financial compensation to help towards your expenses.