Thousands of car accidents happen every day, but there’s still a very good chance you haven’t had to go through this experience. Hopefully, you never will, but every motorist should know how to handle themselves in the event of one. These are a list of things you must-do if you’ve been in a car accident.
Exchanging insurance information is super-important when you’ve been in a car accident. You need to keep your updated proof of insurance in a safe place in your car, such as in your glove compartment. Don’t just take the other driver at their word about having insurance or any information pertaining to it. Ask to physically see their proof just as you show yours. You’ll also need to swap contact details, such as phone number and address.
Thanks to everyone having phones with high-quality cameras in them, you can take photos to detail the damage and injury that have resulted from a car accident. These are very important because they can serve as evidence should you need to take legal action. Don’t just limit yourself to the damage done to your vehicle. You should also post pictures of the other car, which could help establish the other driver as being at fault. Take pictures of the surrounding road, such as skid marks that match your tire tracks.
File a Police Report
If your accident takes place around many other drivers, police might be called onto the scene or already be around. No matter what, though, you need to file a police report. Keep the cars in place as long as it doesn’t impede traffic and follow every instruction from the police and answer all their questions truthfully. Avoid interjecting at any point during their conversation with the other driver, as this can make you look uncooperative and disrespectful. Everyone will get their turn to speak and sticking to the truth makes you look all the better.
In some cases, the person at fault in a car accident is easy to identify. If someone runs a red light at a four-way intersection that you’re driving through, it’s clear that they’re at fault. However, sometimes there are cases of comparative fault, in which no one driver could be pinned as the primary cause of the accident. Comparative fault states have different rules than other states for establishing fault in a car accident. There are thirteen which allow drivers to seek compensation even if they’re at fault in any way. Make sure you review what your state’s laws are, as they could greatly influence whether or not you can get financial compensation from your car accident.
Get Medical Help
Cars are safer than ever, but you still need to make sure you’re all right after a car accident. Right away, make sure you’re cognizant of your surroundings and speak up if there’s any kind of pain. The trauma might not be felt until days after the accident. You should only drive yourself back from an accident if you’re 100 percent sure you have the facilities to do so. You may need to call a friend or loved one to pick up your car. If things are especially severe, you’ll need to get to a nearby emergency room.
File a Claim
Your insurance company’s purpose is to protect you, and they can prove that role by how they help you out in the event of an accident. If you’re able to, you should call them at the scene of the accident and begin your claim. All of the previous tips, such as taking photos and filing a police report, are needed for making your claim. Take the time now to review your insurance information, including your deductible and the timeline available for making a claim. While there’s a lot to take care of when you have vehicle insurance, not having it comes with severe consequences, legally, financially, and to your driving privileges.
Getting in a car accident can be disorienting and frightening, especially if you don’t know what to do next. Knowing all this won’t completely eliminate your tension, but it will help you concentrate as you’ll know what to do each step of the way. Take care of yourself and your vehicle, and remember that being a driver means being careful, whether you’re merging onto the interstate or driving down a residential road.
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