Did you know that approximately 6 million car accidents occur every year in the US?
With something as commonplace as a car accident, it’s essential to know what to do if it occurs.
If you’ve recently had an injury in a car accident, follow the guide below to help you take all the important steps to stay safe and report the accident.
Focus on Health and Safety
After an accident, it’s easy to be confused and shaken up. It’s important to first focus on health and safety, so if you or anyone else is injured, call the police and ask for medical assistance. Call the police even if there are injuries or not because many insurance companies won’t cover the accident without a police report.
After you’ve addressed any injuries, protect the scene to prevent additional accidents. Use flashers on your car or any lights if it’s dark out.
When emergency responders arrive, let them know of any symptoms, no matter how mild, since it’s possible that not all your injuries will be obvious. Refusing medical assistance can weaken your claim with the insurance company.
Once your health is secured, it’s important to start preparing to make an insurance claim.
Make a Record and Collect Evidence
Start by asking questions. Your insurance company will need the names, numbers and addresses of everyone involved. This includes the drivers, any witnesses and the passengers in the cars.
You’ll also need to exchange insurance information and the make, model, and license plate number of the other car.
Take diligent notes about the accident. Make sure to write down things like the weather, the types of cars, the amount of damage, any damage that existed before the accident.
If you have a camera on your phone, take as many photos as possible. Take photos of evidence like damage to the vehicles and any damage to property.
When the police arrive, give details about the accident. Be sure to recount facts and not speculation. Once you’re cleared from the scene, you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
Report the Accident
When filing a claim with your insurance company, you will likely need to immediately report the accident. If you aren’t informed about your insurance coverage, including medical benefits, you should do some research to find out.
Contact a no-fault doctor who will be able to bill the insurance carrier for your medical treatment.
But if your insurance company will not cover the accident, you can contact a personal injury attorney. The attorney can also assist you in making statements and answering questions from the other driver’s insurance company.