Being involved in a car accident can be a very upsetting experience, and it can be difficult to remain calm after the fact. However, if you’re involved in an accident, it is important to keep your cool and follow the steps below as best as you can:
- Never Leave The Scene Of The Accident
If possible, move your vehicle to a safe section of the road to avoid obstructing other vehicles. If the vehicle was badly damaged in the accident, leave it in place and wait until emergency services arrive on the scene.
- Check On Others Involved In The Accident
Check to make sure that the passengers are okay. Do not attempt to move anyone who has been badly hurt. Call emergency services if this has not already been done.
- Give A Police Statement
Once emergency services arrive, they will summon the law enforcement officials and accident investigators who will prepare a police report of the accident. You will need to file this report with your insurance claim, so ensure that you have the badge number and contact information for the police officer who prepares the report.
- Be Prepared To Show The Necessary Documentation
The officers at the scene will collect information on all of the drivers involved in the incident, which will be included in the police report. Be prepared to present your driver’s license and insurance information to the officers, and exchange your contact and insurance information details with the other drivers involved. If there were witnesses to the accident, you may also ask them for their contact information.
- Take Pictures
Take pictures of any damage to the vehicles. Call your insurance company to report the accident and submit any documents needed to file your claim, including pictures and the police report.
- Gather Medical Reports
If you seek medical attention after the accident, make sure that you keep records of all medical documentation, including hospital reports, test results and any bills and receipts that you incurred for medical expenses. In most cases, you must demonstrate that you sought medical help within a reasonable time after the accident for a personal injury claim to be considered valid, so ensure that you do this within the stated time frame.
Filing An Insurance Claim
Once you report the accident to your insurance company, you can expect a lot of paperwork to be submitted for your insurance claim. This includes the police report, medical records of treatment you received, bills and receipts for medical treatment or therapy and any insurance forms that the company may ask you to complete. In some cases, the insurance company may give you a deadline for submitting this paperwork.
How A Lawyer Can Help You
An auto accident lawyer can ensure that you receive proper compensation for any losses you suffered as a result of the accident. While many car accidents are a simple fender bender, others may involve substantial damages and injuries. In such cases, it is wise to seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer.
Auto accident lawyers should have expertise in personal injury, property damages, liability determinations, and wrongful death as well as having knowledge of the local laws that apply to your case. The lawyer should also be experienced in the steps needed to prepare an injury case, such as obtaining evidence to support your claim and filing the correct documents to the courts. He or she should also be skilled in negotiating with insurance companies to receive the best settlement possible for their clients.
The best time to contact an auto accident lawyer is if you or someone covered under your insurance policy has suffered severe injuries in an accident and had to seek medical attention. If you anticipate that there will be major medical expenses incurred from the accident or the need for long-term medical care, you should contact an attorney.
If you have lost wages or suffered property damage, a lawyer may help you get compensated. Also, if you run into difficulties with an insurance company, for example, if they are disputing liability, you may need an lawyer to help you initiate a lawsuit. If an insurance company is trying to offer you a quick settlement, ensure that you speak to an attorney before you sign any agreements.