Road accidents happen daily in the United States, and a variety of causes are to blame. If you’re lucky, you may come out unscathed or with minor injuries, but other times, it might not end in your favor and serious injuries may be sustained. But did you know that if you are involved in a car accident, you are eligible for compensation for your injuries?
However, when an accident occurs, compensation is probably the last thing in your mind. After an accident, you may be dazed and not in the right state of mind. The trauma and emotional distress can make you commit errors when making your compensation claim, and this can prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve from your insurance company, putting yourself at a disadvantage.
It is crucial to understand what you need to do after a car accident. This post gives a comprehensive guide of the steps you should take and what to expect when following up on your payment.
What Should You Do Following a Car Accident?
If you get involved in a car accident, there are procedural steps you should take to avoid legal ramifications and financial loss. These include:
1. Shut Down The Car
If possible, shut down the engine and get out of your vehicle. Try to move your vehicle a safe distance from traffic and remain at the accident scene. If you are unable to drive your car due to injuries or emotional distress, an emergency responder will likely take care of it.
2. Call 911
It is vital that you call the police to report your accident right away. Keep in mind; if it is a hit-and-run accident, most policies require you to notify the police within a specific time range.
3. Get Medical Help
Seeking medical assistance is critical to your health, and will help build a strong case for your car accident claim later on. Most importantly, notify your insurance provider immediately.
4. Get In Touch With Your Attorney
You should contact your attorney because they will have an expert understanding of lawsuits involving car accidents.
5. Collect Information
Gather any evidence you might view as helpful at the scene of your accident. It will be important when you file a claim with your insurance company. Some of the most critical pieces of evidence you should collect include:
- Driver’s license numbers
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Vehicle registration
- License plates
- Telephone numbers
- And more
Additionally, make sure to take photos of the accident scene and the damage to the car if you have a camera in your possession.
How To File A Compensation Claim For A Car Accident
The stressful nature of accidents can make it challenging to know the steps you should take to file a claim. However, the process is usually well-defined. After an accident, you should file a report with your insurance company, agent, or broker as soon as possible, and no later than seven days following the event. Your claim may not be honored if you don’t report within a reasonable time frame. To file a claim, call your insurance company; they will walk you through the steps and request all the information listed above.
What Happens After You Submit Your Claim?
A claim representative will contact you afterward to go through your claim and guide you through the next steps. They will examine and assess your claim, so you understand the process and expectations.
Your insurance provider will contact you requesting more information about the damages. You will record or write a statement, and you will have a cross-examination under oath.
Other drivers and witnesses will also be contacted. However, in some instances, your insurance will take up to 15 days to make contact with you. You should contact your agent or insurance provider for help if there is no communication. If they fail to revert or you have reason to believe the delay is not reasonable, you should get in touch with the Federal Insurance Office.
Actions You Need To Avoid
Below are the things you should avoid if you’re involved in an accident:
- Do not engage in an exchange between yourself and other victims, drivers, or passengers.
- Do not assume responsibility for the accident.
- Do not commit to statements assuming fault or agree to cover damages for other parties.
Only record your statement with the authorities or your insurance provider. Request clarification from your insurance provider or agent if you do not understand your insurance policy.
Seek Legal Counsel For Your Car Accident Case
The experience of a car accident is harrowing and traumatic regardless of whether severe injuries have been sustained. If you have been injured as a result of another party’s negligence, serious or permanent injuries result in hefty medical bills and changes to your everyday life.
An experienced attorney’s legal expertise is beneficial in determining what happens after your car accident as they can help you reach the highest amount of compensation possible. Our experienced legal team at Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law is here to help you manage your car accident claim. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.