Very few people know what to do after surviving a car accident. Doing the right thing after an accident can mean the difference between having a straightforward claim or having one that will drag on for months. You need to know what the insurance provider expects from you if you want to do the right thing. One thing you should NOT do, according to Andy Ellis, an experienced car accident attorney in Los Angeles, is accept money from the insurance company before you’ve spoken to a lawyer.
Here are some of the things that you should do after being involved in a car accident:
Assess the Damage
You need to perform a quick assessment of the accident scene to see the damage your car has sustained. Even if the impact happened at low speed, you should not assume that the damage is minimal. Make sure that you look for dents, leaks, and cracks that were not there before the accident.
If there is little damage and you see no need to involve lawyers, you should come to an agreement with the other party and settle the issue. However, if you have sustained some injuries that need medical attention, you might have to involve attorneys such as Buffalo personal injury lawyers. Make sure that you seek treatment immediately even if you think that the injury is minor.
Call the Police
If you cannot resolve the issue, you should call the police. The officer will help you to assess the damage and tell you who is at fault. However, for the police officer to give an accurate account of what happened, you should not move the vehicles. Moreover, you need to contact your insurance agent for advice on what to do.
If you have a camera or a good camera phone, you should take pictures of the scene and make sure that you capture the damage. Before deciding to leave the cars alone, you should scan the area to ensure that it is safe to wait there. If you are hindering traffic, you might have to move the cars to the side of the road – make sure that you take plenty of pictures before moving them.
Report the Accident to Your Insurer
Once you have all the necessary information from the scene, you should formally alert your car insurance provider. Depending on their assessment, you will be told whether you can drive to the nearest authorized garage or call a tow truck to remove your car from the scene of the accident. Your insurance provider will send an insurance claim adjuster to evaluate the value of damage to your vehicle.
Keep Track of Your Treatment
You should write down the names of any doctor who treats your injuries after the accident. You also have to keep track of the medication that you take and the treatments you receive. Moreover, you also need to request copies of medical bills and reports because they will come in handy when proving your expenses later.
Although documenting treatments is easy, it will be much harder to prove your pain and suffering. You need to record how the injuries have affected your daily life: family life and missed workdays.
Filing a Claim
You need to file a motor insurance claim if you want to get compensation for damages. Once you fill in the form, you should attach the necessary documents before sending it back: copy of your driver’s license and the police report. Hiring an attorney is necessary because you might not know what to do at this point, but an attorney does.
An accident attorney can help you get the maximum settlement. If you do not have money to hire a lawyer, do not worry because most accident lawyers work on contingency – you pay them if you win the case.