Car accidents are traumatic for everyone involved even when there is little damage done. These accidents make you nervous about driving and make you shaky for weeks after the fact. However, your body may not be the only thing that is shaky if you do not take the proper steps after your accident. When you are in a car accident that is not your fault and you don’t live in a “no-fault” state, then these are the ten steps that you need to take.
Step 1 – Document the Scene
Use your phone camera or a digital camera that you have with you to take photographs of the scene right after it occurs. This will help to support your claims of what happened. Make sure to capture images that clearly show where the cars were when they collided, as well as to document.
Step 2 – Contact the Police
If you want insurance to cover your car damage and your subsequent medical bills you generally will need a police report of the accident scene. Even if the damage is minimal it is still a good idea to document the facts of the accident by a police officer.
Step 3 – Gather Witness Information
If there is a lot of damage to your vehicle or if you have personal injuries, then gather contact information of witnesses. If you are injured too badly have your passenger gather witness information. Or take photographs of license plates near the accident.
Step 4 – Exchange Insurance information
Get the insurance information from the person responsible for the accident. You will need this to file a claim.
Step 5 – Get Checked Out by a Doctor Right Away
Even minor car collisions can cause internal injuries that are not visible to the naked eye. Going to a doctor will ensure that you are aware of any medical problems that are related to the accident before you agree to a settlement. A car accident lawyer with the Advocates can be of great help in such events. This is why it is recommended that you always communicate with your lawyer.
Step 6 – Talk to Your Attorney
Having an attorney on your side from the beginning is going to make the process go smoother. They will be able to handle the details of your accident claim while you focus on healing. They will also be able to speed things up so that you can get back on the road as soon as possible.
Step 7 – File Your Insurance Claim
Call the responsible party’s insurance carrier as soon as possible to file your claim. They will be able to confirm that the person is insured, they will be able to tell you where to take your car for repairs and quotes and they will provide you with the forms to fill out.
Step 8 – Keep a Journal
Start a journal that documents everything that happens from the time of the accident to the time you make your final settlement. Document doctor’s visits, phone conversations, car quotes, car repair bills and meetings with your attorney. You will be able to refer to this information if your case goes to court.
Step 9 – Be Timely With Your Paperwork
Don’t lag behind when filling out paperwork. Complete it quickly and double-check it for accuracy. The quicker you are at completing the red tape the sooner you will be reimbursed for the damages you sustained.
Step 10 – Follow Doctor’s Instructions
If you were injured in the accident and received medical treatment follow your doctor’s orders to the “T.” Your case may be questioned if you are seen working in your yard when you are supposed to be confined to bed rest. Disobeying your doctor can lead to accusations of insurance fraud, so play it safe and do as you’re told.