What to do after a car accident

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Free Auto Accident Glovebox Brochure

Free Auto Accident Glovebox Brochure

 Auto accidents can have a devastating impact on you and your family. Such accidents cause a loss of time, property, health and even life. Many elements can contribute to a car accident, including driver error and negligence, manufacturing defects and dangerous weather.  A car crash can turn a normal day into a prolonged struggle. If you are in a auto accident, please follow the following steps:

1.  Check to see if you or any passengers with you were injured in the automobile accident.

Do not hesitate to call œ911 for medical help if anyone needs medical attention. If anyone is unconscious, it is best not to move them unless absolutely necessary as moving them could make their injuries worse. If you must move injured people, make sure to keep their head and neck supported the entire time.

2.  Safely get out of the way of traffic.

Drivers involved in minor accidents with no serious injuries should move cars to the side of the road and out of the way of oncoming traffic. Leaving cars parked in the middle of the road or busy intersection can result in additional accidents and injuries. If a car cannot be moved, drivers and passengers should remain in the cars with seatbelts fastened for everyone’s safety until help arrives. Make sure to turn on hazard lights and set out cones, flares or warning triangles if possible.

3.  Call the police if the auto accident involves damage, injury or death.

This is very important to remember. 

4.  Obtain information from the all other drivers and witnesses involved in the car accident.

After the accident, exchange the following information: name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver license number and license plate number for the driver and the owner of each vehicle. If the driver’s name is different from the name of the insured, establish what the relationship is and take down the name and address for each individual. Also make a written description of each car, including year, make, model and color ” and the exact location of the collision and how it happened. Finally, be polite but don’t tell the other drivers or the police that the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.

5.  Obtain police officers information.

Name. Badge Number.  City.

6.  Take pictures of everything involved in the car accident, as long as it can be done safely.
Use your camera to document the damage to all the vehicles. Keep in mind that you want your photos to show the overall context of the accident so that you can make your case to a claims adjuster. If there were witnesses, try to get their contact information; they may be able to help you if the other drivers dispute your version of what happened.
7.  Schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Sometimes there are injuries right after an accident takes place, but many people who are injured do not realize it right after an accident. Therefore, it is always wise to see your doctor to make sure that you are ok.

8.  Know what your insurance covers

The whole insurance process will be easier following your accident if you know the details of your coverage. For example, don’t wait until after an accident to find out that your policy doesn’t automatically cover costs for towing or a replacement rental car. Generally, for only a dollar or two extra each month, you can add coverage for rental car reimbursement, which provides a rental car for little or no money while your car is in the repair shop or if it is stolen. Check your policy for specifics. 

Read our blog post: What you need to know about insurance

The final question in dealing with an accident is usually who will pay for the damages? If the accident was minor, you and the other drivers may decide to handle the damages yourselves without the involvement of an insurance company. But this isn’t always the best idea, for several reasons.

While the other driver may agree to pay for the damage to your car on the day of the accident, he may see the repair bills and decide it’s too high. At this point, time has passed and your insurance company will have more difficulty piecing together the evidence if you file a claim.
 
Also, keep in mind that you have no way of knowing whether another driver will change his mind and report the accident to his insurance company. He may even claim injuries that weren’t apparent at the scene of the accident. This means that your insurance company may end up paying him a hefty settlement, or worse yet, you could be dragged into a lawsuit. So make sure that your company has your version of what happened and check your policy ” if the damages paid out by your insurance company are below a certain amount, the accident may not be considered chargeable. And you will avoid the penalty of a premium hike.

 

9.  Get an attorney

If there is a dispute with your insurance company, or the seemingly simple car accident suddenly turns complicated, then seeking legal counsel is your best bet.  Contact the personal injuy attorneys at Edwards & Ragatz, P.A. for any of your auto accident questions at (800)366-1609 orfill out our contact us form.

Read more at:
Avvo.com Car Accident Checklist
Edmunds.com Car Safety

 

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