Car accidents always cause a certain level of damage and disarray. However, you can get through an incident in good spirits and recover quickly if you take the proper steps after it happens. These are 5 steps to take after a car accident or vehicular crash:
1. Check the Accident Site
The first step of the 5 steps to take after a car accident is ensuring that everyone in the vehicle is safe. Move the vehicle if you can to get it out of the path of other cars. If you’re unable to do so, you can proceed to help everyone else remove themselves.
Perform a wellness check to see if everyone is conscious and coherent enough to recall the incident. Next, find a phone and contact an ambulance if anyone has suffered a severe injury. You should not move a person who appears to be in a life-threatening condition. Allow the paramedics to assist that individual, but perform CPR if you’re educated and feel the victim needs it right away.
After you check everyone’s wellness, the next step is to call the police and converse with the other vehicle’s driver. You’ll need to exchange insurance information with that person and get their name and license plate number for future use.
The police will respond to your outreach and collect additional information about the incident from you and the other parties. They’ll want to know if anyone broke state rules, such as speeding or running a red light while operating the vehicle.
The officer interviewing you will write a detailed police report about the accident, and you’ll need to obtain a copy for your records. You may need it for the insurance company or an attorney.
Corroborating with witnesses is another part of the first step of 5 steps to take after a car accident. You must speak to each person who witnessed the accident and gather information about them.
You may have to go to court about the incident in the near future, and you’ll need to know if these people will testify on your behalf. All of them may not be available to speak in person, but they may be willing to submit a written statement.
Finally, call the number of a company that has tow trucks capable of moving your vehicle. You’ll need to get it to an auto mechanic or at least have them take it to your home to get it off the road. You can decide where to take it after you complete a few more of the 5 steps to take after a car accident.
2. Get Medical Attention
The second most crucial step among the 5 steps to take after a car accident is to seek the medical attention you need right away. Sometimes, post-accident injuries go unrecognized because the injured parties don’t feel like they’re hurt. These individuals skip seeing a doctor because they feel fine and experience horrible effects days or weeks later.
The tragedy happens because many hormones shift and release during a dangerous situation. Adrenaline, for example, could cause a severely injured person to walk around like normal after experiencing something that affects his or her internal organs.
Adrenaline can give an accident victim a false sense of wellness. The injury may also not manifest symptoms until later. The hormone is strong enough to give them a false sense of strength, despite internal bleeding.
Thus, many people in these situations end up in intensive care or worse when the adrenaline wears off. Ensure that you have yourself checked out and cleared by a doctor before you engage in work duties and regular activities.
Late accident symptoms aren’t the sole reason you should have a professional examine you and your passengers. Another reason to do so is that you can get the necessary medical documentation you may need for your insurance company or an attorney.
Your insurance might cover some of the injuries to help the accident victims recover from their medical damages. Alternatively, a car accident lawyer can use the information if you take the other party to court for a personal injury. He or she will need to see proof of your injuries to validate your claim.
All forms can be vital in your case. Thus, you’ll need to gather the records explaining your test results, injuries, the care required, and the cost you must pay for the medical visit. Furthermore, you will need to keep records of the aftercare procedures and any prescription the doctor tells you to take.
Seeing a medical provider is the best way to get the information you need to take care of yourself appropriately. You’ll receive immaculate instructions on how to take your medication and when to come back for a follow-up visit. Therefore, you should not hesitate to allow someone to peek at your injuries as step two of 5 steps to take after an injury.
3. File an Insurance Claim
Now you know two of the 5 steps to take after a car accident. The third one is crucial, and it involves addressing your auto insurance provider. You’ll contact them and report your accident to activate your benefits and receive a check for the type of work you need to be done on your damaged car.
There are typically two ways to file a claim with your insurance company. You can call the phone number on the back of your card for claims or make an online claim if it’s more convenient for you. You will need to enter details about the incident, such as where it occurred, how it happened, and what damage fell upon your vehicle.
A claims examiner will investigate the matter after you submit your claim, and the insurance company will respond by approving the coverage or denying it. If they approve the claim, you can proceed to find reliable service centers to help you get your car back on the road. The insurance company may have a list of providers that accept insurance claims, so be sure to inquire about whether they have contact information for them.
Understanding your insurance benefits is vital because it explains the amount of help you can get. Your native state specifies a minimum amount of insurance you must carry on any vehicle you drive, and this minimum liability only covers damages you cause in an accident. In other words, it will pay for medical expenses and property damages for the other party, but you won’t get much help if you only have a minimum liability policy.
You must have comprehensive and collision coverage from your insurance provider to pay for your automotive repairs. Your collision insurance is what covers the damage that results from a car accident. However, this protection has limits and may also have a deductible you need to pay before you can use it to pay for the auto damages. The deductible can range from $0 to $2,500. Check with your provider during this third part of the 5 steps to take after a car accident.
4. Get Your Automobile Repaired
The fourth part of the 5 steps to take after a car accident is getting your vehicle fixed. You can take it over to an auto glass repair shop, regular repair location, or business that performs auto body repairs.
Ask the insurance company to give you a few contact numbers for these repair shops and request quotes for the services. It’s okay to shop around to get the most affordable deal during this process. Thus, you can request to find your own diesel mechanics, truck bed liner experts, or other specialty repair persons if the insurance provider doesn’t provide you with adequate names.
When searching for the best auto repair company, you should seek experience, a strong reputation, and positive reviews from former or current clients. Pricing also matters in an insurance claim because your benefits will have limits on them.
Your insurance provider may grace you with a check or pay the repair shop independently, depending on the system they use. The repair shop will perform the services they stated in their quote and give you a time frame for the completed job.
If everything goes smoothly, you’ll have a like-new vehicle back in your yard or garage, and you can continue with your life as it was before the incident occurred. Step four of the 5 steps to take after a car accident is done when the service is complete.
5. Contact an Accident Attorney
Sometimes, insurance companies deny a claim, or the amount of coverage a policy provides is not adequate to supplement an accident victim’s income. That’s why contacting an accident attorney is the fifth step in 5 steps to take after an accident.
You may have to contact a personal injury attorney if you believe your injuries resulted from someone else’s neglect. Personal injury lawyers handle such cases, and they can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
For an incident to qualify as a personal injury, the attorney must be able to prove two things. First, he or she must prove that you have valid damages resulting from the related incident. Secondly, your legal service provider must prove that the other party acted neglectfully, and such neglect caused your injuries to occur.
The court can judge many actions as neglect. One example of negligence is distracted driving, such as operating a vehicle while texting. Drunk or high driving is another form of neglect that can qualify your case as a personal injury. The third type of neglect is an outright disregard for traffic laws. Running a red light, improper turning, and speeding are examples of irresponsible driving habits that can have life-threatening repercussions.
You could be eligible for two types of compensation if you win a personal injury case. The first monetary award is called compensatory, and it covers medical bills, auto repairs, lost work wages, and general survival expenses. The second type of reward is called punitive damages. These are additional funds a judge may add to a personal injury settlement for extreme or aggravated neglect. The purpose is to deter the offensive party from ever repeating the offense.
You’ll need to contact the office to file a claim with a personal injury lawyer and schedule an initial meeting or consultation. During that time, you’ll have a chance to explain the events that led to the incident and submit any evidence and documents you have. The attorney will then evaluate your case and notify you about whether it seems promising.
Many injury lawyers offer free consultations because they understand that accident victims have limited funds. Some also offer their plaintiffs contingency representation, which means the victims don’t have to pay them until they win the case.
Generally, this type of arrangement requires the plaintiff to agree to allow the attorney to take the fees from the settlement check. Fees can vary from 25 percent of the settlement to as much as 40 percent. Each attorney has a rate, and you should speak to several of them before you decide.
Look for attributes such as compassion, empathy, availability, fair pricing, and a strong reputation when you begin your search. You can also request credentials and information about the number of cases the prospective attorney won.
Personal injury lawyers can aid with your case in numerous ways. First, they can contact the offender to try to settle the case out of court. That will allow you to get your funds quickly. However, your lawyer will also fight to get you what you deserve if the negotiation doesn’t work.
You’ve completed the fifth part of 5 steps to take after an accident once you’ve signed an agreement with an attorney to handle your case.
Now you’re aware of 5 steps to take after a car crash and the steps you should take in between them. You’ll be more prepared if you ever have to face such an unfortunate incident, and you’ll know how to get back on your two feet faster.