The annual rate of car accidents in the US is approximately six million, from which only 27 % are non-fatal or minor accidents. When you get in a car accident, one gets such a high adrenaline rush that one is unable to process the event.
In this type of situation, many tend to behave impulsively or are unaware of what they must do. This is why TheLawAdvisory has made a step-by-step guide of 5 actionable things that should be done if anyone gets involved in a car accident.
Analyze the situation
Once you are involved in a vehicle accident, stop right there and check if everyone is safe. See, if there is any medical emergency, then call an ambulance right away. If the accident is minor and there are no huge damages, then stop the car right at the spot where the occurrence happened. Never run away from the accident spot. If you are standing at a place where you are blocking other vehicles or the moving traffic, then park your damaged car on the side and protect the area by switching on the headlights or a flashlight; in case if your headlights aren’t working.
Once after completing immediate actions, take the pictures from the scene as proof. See if there are any visible damages to the vehicle and capture the pictures of the injuries as well.
Call 911 or local police immediately.
Many fear involving cops but the sanest idea for you to do at the time is call them, whether the accident has caused minor or maximum damage. When you are applying for your car insurance, you would need a police report to claim it.
When the cops start investigating the happening, make sure to provide them with accurate information. Don’t hide or misstate anything. If you are unsure about certain facts, then it is better to tell the investigating cop the truth rather than giving a false statement. Not only, you must give an accurate report but also make certain that the other person also speaks the truth and does not create conspiracy theories. Also, don’t interfere during the investigation and be patient until the whole process is completed.
Contact your insurance company.
As soon as you get done with all the required processes on the scene of an accident, report to your insurance company immediately. Many insurance companies have policies to receive immediate reports in case of unfortunate events like these.
However, it would be more useful if you make a call to your insurance company from the spot directly. Talk to your insurance agent directly when making a claim and update them with all the required information regarding the occurrence. If you are calling from the scene, then you can also ask a police officer to talk to them and provide them with all the details.
A police officer’s report would be more authentic and would ease your insurance claim process. In case of medical injuries, check if you have Medpay benefits included in your coverage. Medpay is a medical benefit given in case of medical emergencies during an accident. For this, you have to pay some extra money.
To claim this benefit for primary coverage, you have to submit your medical bills and prove that the injuries are caused due to an accident. Know your insurance rates will not increase in case of your claim to Medpay.
Exchange information if the police can’t be present on the accident spot
Usually, the cops report immediately, but in case if they don’t report at the spot, then make sure to gather all the proofs and information regarding the accident. Firstly, collect primary information from the driver; one’s name, address, and contact information.
Secondly, ask for an insurance card for all the involved vehicles in the accident and take the pictures for your record. Moreover, take the contact information of the on-site witnesses so that you or your attorney can contact them in the future. All of these gathered pieces of information will also be helpful when you will be applying for a police report.
Contact your legal attorney as soon as possible.
One of the most important measures that people tend to forget or avoid is not contacting their lawyers. Moreover, when you are reporting the car accident to your insurance company for claims, be sure not to speak without the legal guidelines from your lawyer. An attorney will protect your rights and will keep the record of valuable pieces of evidence. He/She will also make sure to get you fully compensated for your vehicle, and if you’ve got any medical injuries, then all you get the best medical treatments.
If you’ve got a personal injury attorney, then know you won’t have to pay them any legal fee as they get paid contingency fee. Until and unless your attorney recovers your compensation, you are not liable to pay them any fee.
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