Being in a car accident can be extremely stressful and you may be unsure what steps you should follow. There are several things you should do immediately and then others you will take care of afterward. Knowing all of these important steps can help you navigate the accident with ease.
Call Police and Emergency Services
Immediately after the accident has occurred, you need to determine if anyone has been injured. If so, you should call emergency services so everyone who has been injured can get care as quickly as possible. After contacting emergency services, you should call the police. They will file an official police report that can protect you from any claims the other party makes and the report can assist you when you file your own insurance claim. If it is not an emergency, avoid calling 911 and instead call the number for the local police department. Try to avoid moving the cars before the police arrive to preserve the scene.
Exchange Information and Document Accident
You should avoid talking too much with the other party because you want to avoid either of you claiming fault. This can later be used against either of you. However, you do need to exchange insurance information with each other so you can each make an insurance claim afterward. You might also want to get the name and contact information of the other party. At this point, you should thoroughly document the accident. You should take pictures of all vehicles involved and make sure the photos clearly show any damage. These photos can be used as evidence when making insurance claims. You can also make personal notes about the accident, but avoid opinion or speculation.
Contact Insurance and a Lawyer
After the accident, you should contact your insurance provider and file an insurance claim. Make sure you ask plenty of questions so you understand what you need to do and what process you should follow. Be aware of the time limit you have to submit a claim, how your car repairs will be paid for, and what you will be responsible to pay for. In some cases, the insurance of the at-fault driver may be resistant to pay. Hiring a lawyer can help you get the coverage that you deserve so you can move on with your life.
There are many things you need to do following an accident. It’s important to take time to understand what your responsibilities are. Accidents are stressful, and understanding the process can make things easier.
If you need defense after an accident, call a car accident lawyer!