The typical commute that may seem mundane can take a horrible turn instantly when you are struck by another driver on the road. Suddenly you’re faced with potentially serious damage to your vehicle, and you feel so numb that you are afraid to check for physical injuries. Your immediate feelings of anxiety and stress can seemingly consume your every thought when it is truly important to handle the situation properly.
As long as you are prepared ahead of time for such an event, there is no reason to panic about the situation. You cannot undo a car accident, but you can use the information outlined below to ensure that you handle the event to your best advantage.
Alert the Authorities and Paramedics
Almost all people keep a cell phone handy when traveling so that they can easily call for emergency assistance. Unless you know for sure that the other driver or someone at the scene has reported the accident, make sure that you know for yourself that help is on the way. The police will want to take a statement from you to complete their report, and it’s always a smart idea to have proper medical attention after a collision.
Stay Calm and Remain in Your Vehicle
As a safety precaution, people involved in automobile accidents should stay inside their vehicle. Circumstances can vary, but as long as the car is not smoking or on fire, then it is a good idea to try to move it to the side of the road. Keep seatbelts fastened and turn on the hazard lights while waiting for help to arrive. If you’re in shock, then you may cause injuries to worsen by moving around immediately after the accident.
Prepare Items in An Emergency Preparedness Kit
It never hurt to prepare for an accident, even if you are lucky enough to never have it happen to you. A few basic items stored in the back seat or trunk will make the wait more comfortable and ensure that you have any information or tools that you need.
Exchange Important Contact and Insurance Details with the Other Driver
Locate the pen and paper from your kit and take down any important notes about the accident. You should also exchange your contact, vehicle, and insurance information with the other driver while you have the opportunity.
Do Not Admit Fault or Try to Place the Blame
Regardless of the attitude displayed by the other driver, never engage in a conversation about the incident. You may make a false admission in the heat of the moment that will come back to hurt your chance at a settlement. It’s the job of law enforcement and insurance companies to ultimately decide the cause of the accident.
Understand Your Car Insurance and Health Insurance Policies
The naive belief that owning a vehicle insurance policy is going to ensure that you are completely taken care of will lead to a very rude awakening when involved in an accident. Pay attention to the outline of your coverage so that you do not end up with out-of-pocket fees to ride in an ambulance or have the vehicle towed. If your policy is lacking benefits that you find essential then get extra coverage before anything happens.
Take Pictures After the Accident
The best proof in most accident cases is provided through the photographs taken immediately after the wreck. Document damage to your property, the other car, and the scene around the accident to paint a clear image of the entire event. Pay attention to small details, such as skid marks, that would help prove that the other driver was speeding or driving recklessly.
Accept a Medical Examination
A trip to the hospital may not always be necessary, but paramedics should always check you out at the scene. They will look into common injury areas, such as the back and neck, and also evaluate general health. Any concerns that you discuss will go down in the records to prove if serious injuries developed days or weeks after the initial trauma. Medical documentation also helps when it comes to settling the case with the insurance adjuster.
Put in a Call With Your Insurance Company
The next step is to make a call to the insurance company, even if damage seems reasonably minor. In cases like this, it may be tempting to settle without alerting the insurance companies, but you will be the one missing out on coverage if there is more extensive damage than you originally believe. You can find more on which insurance is right for you on Money.com.
Consult a Lawyer
Everything seems to happen in such a quick instant when a car accident occurs. It never hurts to speak with your attorney for advice while you are still at the scene of the accident. They are able to provide smart legal tips that you would otherwise overlook in the stressful moment.
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When you've been injured the last thing you are equipped to do is deal with insurance companies. That's what we're here for. Lundy Law has nearly 60 years of experience handling a variety of legal claims and our attorneys have a reputation of getting great results.
Lundy Law does business in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as a Pennsylvania Limited Liability Partnership, and in Delaware as a Limited Liability Company. Legal services in Pennsylvania shall be performed primarily in Philadelphia; New Jersey in Cherry Hill and Delaware in Wilmington. Cases may be referred to associated law firms.