Driving a car is always risky. When you least expect it, you may be involved in an accident as minor as a fender-bender or as major as one where major injuries, losses, and even death are involved.
If you have recently been in an accident, Brown & Gessell wants to remind you that you should follow certain important steps after a collision not to jeopardize your claim. You may use the following list now or keep it for future reference. It may make a big difference in how your claim is settled and how the insurance company responds. Here are the steps to take after a car accident:
If there are injuries, you need to call an ambulance to come to the scene and transport the injured to the nearest emergency room. If nobody seems to need urgent care, you should still call 911 and request the presence of police.
Once they arrive, they will reach their own conclusions as to what happened by examining the cars that were involved and their location and damage. Then, they will prepare a report.
Avoid speculating out loud on who did what and just answer directly what you are asked. Don’t engage in chatter with the other driver; remember that whatever you say may be used against you. Request a copy of the police report for your insurance or lawyer, whatever the case may be.
Gather information from the other driver. Get their name, address, phone number, policy number, car plates, make and model. If there are any witnesses, also get their testimonies and contact information. They may be invaluable to you in the future, should you decide to file a claim.
Document the Scene
Take pictures of the cars, their location, and their damage. Also, photograph anything that might have contributed to the crash, such as low-lying tree branches, oil spills, slippery roads, traffic signs, or anything else that might have played a role.
Get Medical Attention
Even if you are convinced that you were not injured, get a medical evaluation as soon as possible. You don’t want to discover that you do have internal injuries at a later date when there might not be anything that can be done to get compensation. Also, your insurance will want to know that you do take your health seriously.
Contact Your Insurance Company
It is important to let your insurance company know about the accident, any injuries, and the damage to your car or other property. Your insurance may want you to give them an oral or written statement, and the other driver or witnesses may also be contacted. They will also want to know if you have medical payments, and you must provide documentation to back up your claim.