It’s difficult to think clearly in the aftermath of an automobile collision. What should you do to ensure that you, your passengers, and other drivers on the road are safe?
Many drivers make mistakes that limit their ability to compensation from car insurance companies and other drivers after a car accident because of the emotions and trauma connected with a car accident. Learn what to do in the event of a car accident and what procedures to take afterward to protect your rights. Below are some of the steps shared by Cumming car accident lawyer.
Step 1: Double-check that everyone is safe.
The first thing to do after an accident is to make sure that everyone involved is safe. Here are a few things you can do:
If possible, exit your vehicle and activate the emergency flashers.
If the accident is more serious or if someone is wounded, dial 911 to have an ambulance and police officers arrive as soon as possible. Even if the collision was small, you should contact the authorities to obtain a police record.
Minor accidents should be reported to the non-emergency police hotline.
Set up flares around the location to warn other cars of the hazard if you have them. If not, activate your danger lights.
Stay at the accident scene until the police have released you.
Remember that the safety and health of anyone involved in the accident take precedence over any financial concerns, therefore take the required safety procedures as soon as possible.
Step 2: Evaluate the situation and share facts
After you’ve made sure everyone is physically secure, it’s time to start taking stock of what happened and taking steps to safeguard your rights. This is what you must do:
- Take photographs of the vehicles and debris at the scene of the accident.
- After snapping images of the scene, move the cars as soon as feasible. However, if it is not safe to do so, do not relocate automobiles.
- Never acknowledge making a mistake or apologizing for what happened. Although it may appear unfriendly, confessing misconduct could harm your chances in court. You can voice worry and take steps to obtain medical help without admitting responsibility or guilt.
- With the other drivers on the scene, exchange contacts, and vehicle insurance information. If there are any claims arising from the accident, this information will be critical. If the other driver is uninsured, make sure you acquire their current contact information. You’ll need to gather the following details.
- Name, address, and phone number of the other driver.
- The insurance information of the other driver, including their policy number.
- The number of the other driver’s driver’s license.
- The vehicle’s year, make, and model, as well as its license plate number.
- Photographs depicting the accident scene, the collision, and the vehicle or other property damage.
- The number of the accident report.
- Any police officers’ information, including their names and badge numbers.
If you need to take legal action at any point, these first steps will set the framework for a successful case.
Step 3: Find out what kind of auto insurance is available.
After a car accident, the type of insurance coverage available relies a lot on who was at blame and what kind of coverage each driver has. Consider a situation in which the accident was not your fault.
The insurance of the other motorist will cover:
- Damage to your automobile and other property up to the policy maximum of the other motorist.
- Medical fees and expenses for you and your passengers up to the limit of their bodily injury insurance policy.
The following items are covered by your insurance policy:
- Personal injury protection, usually known as PIP coverage, is available in several states for drivers. This insurance coverage kicks in regardless of who is at fault and can help pay for medical bills. It can also pay lost salaries, services, and burial costs in rare situations.
- If the other driver does not have enough insurance, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage will cover your property damage and medical bills.
- If you need a rental car because your vehicle is damaged and needs repairs, or if it was totaled and you need transportation until you can buy another, your policy may cover the costs.
Step 4: Contact your insurance provider.
The next step is to report the accident to your insurance company. It’s usually preferable to be the first to call after an accident rather than waiting for the other motorist or the other driver’s insurance company to file a claim. Inform your insurance provider about the accident so that they can begin preparing a claim for you. They might want to dispatch an insurance adjuster to the location to begin examining the situation.
Even if the damage appears to be small, you should always contact your insurance carrier after being in an automobile accident. It’s critical that you complete this task in a timely manner. It may also be part of your insurance arrangement, in addition to the protection it provides. Failure to do so may jeopardize your right to compensation.
What makes this a crucial step? It’s critical for your safety. The consequences of an automobile collision are frequently not immediately apparent, and you may later develop injuries that must be reported to your insurance company. The same could be true of the other drivers involved in the collision. In addition, depending on the circumstances of the accident, the other drivers may decide to take legal action against you. If you haven’t told your insurance provider about it, you may be denied coverage.
Step 5: Speak with an attorney.
Your next call should be to a qualified vehicle accident attorney once you’ve reported your accident to the insurance company. Even if you believe the accident was little, you never know what consequences may arise, and you must ensure that you are protected. You’ll also need a vehicle accident lawyer on hand, even if the insurance company appears to be willing to cover your losses. Remember that insurance companies are only interested in paying the smallest amount possible, and they are not looking out for your best interests. In this scenario, an attorney will assist you in ensuring that your rights and interests are effectively protected.
What factors should you consider while selecting an attorney? Look for one that offers the following features:
- Car accident situations are something I’ve had a lot of experience with.
- A free appointment to discuss your case is available.
- An extensive list of qualifications
- A person with whom you can collaborate
- The reputation of being a fierce advocate for his or her clients
It’s critical to know what questions to ask once you’ve hired an attorney. Here are some good questions to start asking even before the lawsuit starts:
- What are your feelings about my situation?
- How likely do you believe a settlement or judgment will be reached for me?
- What is the most realistic amount I may anticipate receiving?
- Do you think we’ll have to go to court?
- Do you believe that arbitration or mediation would be effective?
- How long do you believe it will take you to finish my case?
- What elements are working in our favor and which are working against us?
Even if you aren’t seeking compensation, you should hire a lawyer. You will have no way of knowing if the other parties will seek compensation or file a lawsuit against you as a result of your engagement in the case. Retaining a lawyer early allows the lawyer to begin preparing a case if and when one is required.
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Step 6: Begin collecting information.
Even if you believe the accident was a minor mishap that is now behind you, you must keep meticulous records. You never know when a claim will arise or when you will receive a call from another driver’s lawyer informing you that a lawsuit has begun. Keep detailed details of the accident to provide your complete safety. Here’s what you’ll want to collect and keep:
- Inspection and damage reports for the car, including any repair estimates, receipts, totaled vehicle assessments, and invoices.
- Any police reports that have been generated as a result of your accident.
- Any medical records you have, including reports from the emergency room or your doctor, bills and treatment records from your doctor, and any reports from chiropractors, therapists, or other specialists you see after the accident.
- Any income reports that demonstrate the time you had to miss work for medical treatment or to recover from injuries. Include information about time off for appointments, as well as any limitations your injury imposed on your ability to perform your job.
- A personal record detailing the non-physical and non-economic aspects of the disaster, including difficult-to-quantify emotional impacts. You may be entitled to compensation for the stress and mental health concerns that occur as a result of your injury, so keep track of them.
Consider creating a folder where you can put all of these documents right away.
Apart from these steps –
- Seek medical assistance.
- Don’t make a hasty decision.
- Recognize potential hazards