Car accidents are stressful and no one wants to think about getting into one. However, it’s still best that you prepare and plan ahead so you will know what you should deal with if you get involved with a collision. It can be quite scary but it’s still considered another financial transaction.
Here are several steps you should keep in mind if this happens:
Always Have Auto Insurance
Be covered with auto insurance before it happens.
Auto insurance policies aren’t exactly an exciting read but you will need to know what’s in yours. A lot of people don’t know the clause of their policies and would assume that all aspects are covered at all times. It’s essential that you read even the small print as the state laws vary. You will want to know what are the protections for you, especially if the other party involved will not have an insurance coverage.
Ensure that you have your insurance information with you – provider’s name, phone number, and policy number – both in your glove compartment and in your wallet, just in case the glove compartment gets damaged in the accident. It’s also a good idea to invest in a dash cam for proper documentation, just in case.
Check for Injuries
Check yourself first for injuries, make sure everyone involved is okay and then call the police. This is the first thing you’d want to do.
Call 911 if there are any injuries and if you are seriously injured, don’t move and wait for emergency respondents. If you are involved in only a minor accident, you should call the police. You won’t know how things will turn out and a police report will provide an official record of the accident.
Be aware of the laws in your state – if it’s just a minor accident, police officers may not arrive at the scene due to limited resources. If you will be in this situation, you can exchange policies and gather important information such as contact numbers with the other person involved in the fender bender for the insurance claim process.
Call Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance company as soon as possible and gather information for easier claim process. You should call regardless of the severity of the accident. The sooner your insurance knows, the better. Call within the day if you can. When possible, take photos including the surrounding area, the damages to the vehicle involved and traffic signs. This can provide great assistance in handling your claim.
Don’t Settle Right Away
After a car accident, it’s possible that the other driver’s insurance company may contact you and try to get you to sign a release of any claims you may have. They might even offer you money to entice you to sign the release. You should wait until you have been fully evaluated and have been cleared by a medical professional before signing anything the insurance company will put in front of you. Your doctor can help you determine how long you should wait out for any possible injuries that may manifest later on. If you sign the release and then an injury shows up later on in connection with the accident, you cannot go back to the insurance company to ask them to pay for your medical expenses. You have already waived your legal rights to pursue compensation once you have signed that waiver.
If you have suffered significant or extensive injuries after the car accident or if you want to make sure your claims process go smoothly, you will want to talk to experienced injury lawyers to assist you with the car accident claim.