What Should You Do If You Are in Auto AccidentDecember 26, 2016
Being involved in an auto accident can be scary, but it is also an important time to keep calm, as you are required to collect a lot of details about the accident. It is normal to feel shaken up, and it is understandable that in some cases you are not in the right mind to gather all the information you will need to pursue the claim for damages done to you, and your vehicle. There are times when due to severe injuries you are unable to gather any information, as you might be taken away from the scene by the medics. But if you are not extremely injured, you need to collect all the information right away. To help guide you through this, we have compiled a few points you should keep in mind when noting down information.
After the accident, the first thing you need to do is assess your personal condition. Check immediately for any broken bones, bleeding, or bruises. If you have smashed hard, you might have a concussion, go give yourself a moment to regain your composure. We understand that an auto collision is a traumatic experience, and you need to take time to ensure you are physically fit to take the following steps. Depending on the impact, you might require more than a few seconds to gather yourself, do not rush yourself into anything; and take some time to regain your thoughts into order.
Once you have ensured, that you are okay, and are able to move around without any pain; check on the rest of the passengers. Ask them to assess their conditions too, and once you have determined their condition; get out of your car slowly. Help others get out of the car too, and ask them to compose themselves away from the car. However, if you or anyone in the car is unable to move, wait for the ambulance to arrive.
Remember, never move your car; as you will need the police to prepare a report based on what they see. The position of the vehicle is important, and will help them record how the accident took place.
If you are out and about, assess the damage that has been done to your vehicle and other party’s vehicle. Take pictures from your phone, and make written notes about the damage done to both cars. When taking photos cover the location, and both vehicles damage. Write down the licence plate number, as even if you are unable to get any more information about the driver; the state will be able to track them down using their licence plate number. The department of motor vehicles can provide your attorney with the insurance number of the vehicle.
If the driver has not fled the scene, and is able to talk get his/ her name, both work and home address, and phone numbers. Other than that, ask them to provide you with their driver’s license number, and car registration number, the name of their insurance company, and their number. If the driver is not the owner of the vehicle in question, take all the same details about the owner of the vehicle.
If there were any witnesses, ask them to give a statement to the police, if they are unable to stay; take their contact information that can be used by the police to verify your story.
When the police arrives on the scene to investigate the matter, note down the name of the reporting officer, and his/ her badge number; along with their duty station number. The most important thing you need to write down is the police report number for reference. If you and the other driver are taken to the hospital in an ambulance, your only source of getting all the information from the police report.
If your vehicle has to be towed from the scene of the accident, take a printed receipt from the towing company, or a proper hand written receipt on their company pad. On the receipt write the name of the crane operator, and his/ her information regarding where your vehicle is going to be stored. Ask for receipts of towing and storage charges, as you will need to claim them.
Once you are physically and mentally strong enough, call your own insurance company to inform them about the collision. It does not matter if the accident was caused by the other party, you should still inform your insurance company. This is because their insurance company might take 7 to 10 days, to complete investigation from their end, as they too are required to make the case. In the meantime, your insurance company can begin the repairs on your car. If your insurance company covers the charges of a rental vehicle, you can call your insurance company and ask them to make the arrangements for you. You should not worry about your insurance company paying for the repair cost, when the other party’s insurance company has finished their investigation, and admit liability; this means they will take responsibility for getting your car repaired. Once the liability issue has been resolved, the other insurance company will reimburse your insurance company for the repair, and you for your deductible.
If during the process, you receive a call from the other insurance company, make sure you ask for their name, and telephone number. Furthermore, as for for their company claim number. It is advised that you do not discuss any case detail with the adjuster or answer any question he/ she asks you about the accident or about your injuries. Do not talk about how you feel after the accident, and anything related to the accident. Do not give your consent to record your conversation, and make sure they know they are not allowed to record the conversation you are having. Keep in mind that this adjuster is not your friend, and will not help you with your case; no matter what they imply. They do not care about your injuries, and how bad the accident was. The adjusters only aim is to talk you into a settlement, that will only help the company they are working for. They can use the information you have given them and twist it into stopping your claim.
Finally, we will discuss the first thing you are required to do if you have suffered any injuries. The first thing you need to do in such an event is seek for immediate medical advice and treatment. Because, your health is far more important than any damage done to your property. Do not think about the potential case, think about your health first. Once, you have received medical attention, and you have been dismissed by the health care provider; many states will require you to file a no-fault claim. There are times when individuals fail to submit the claim in the specified period, which results in no payment. You can ask your insurance agent, and ask them to file to form for you. Lastly, call a personal injury lawyer, and they will be able to assess your circumstances. Then you can discuss the potential case you wish to file.