There are times when no matter how careful you are as a driver and how well-maintained your vehicle is, a car accident may still occur. During this time, it’s best to know what to do and who to contact to ensure your safety and that you will be compensated for injuries or damages.
Most people tend to panic after an accident due to adrenaline and although it may be hard to keep a clear mind after an accident, one must remember to stay calm and do the following:
1. Check if you or anyone riding the vehicle with you has suffered any injury. Call emergency response if anyone is injured.
2. Once you’ve made sure that no one is in immediate threat, alight from your vehicle and take pictures of the accident. Take pictures of both vehicles involved, including license plates, the damages to the vehicles, and the surrounding area. These pictures will be useful for insurance claims or if there will be a dispute about who has caused the accident.
3. If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road to avoid more accidents from oncoming vehicles. A two-car fender bender can turn into a multiple-car pile-up if one is not careful.
4. Talk to the other driver. Get the other driver’s name, address, contact information and insurance details, and provide the same for him.
The following are things that you may need to do after the accident to help speed up the process of insurance claims or if a lawsuit would be filed:
1. Report the accident to the police. – It is important to file an accident report with the police after a car accident. This type of report can provide useful information for all parties involved in the accident since it contains the details about what happened and how it happened. The photos you have taken will be very useful for these police reports as they are evidence of what transpired.
2. Report the accident to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). – Depending on the state where you live, a DMV report may be required for accidents that cause damages amounting to more than a certain amount or if the accident has caused injury, regardless of the severity of the injury, or death.
3. Contact your insurance agent. – It is crucial to contact your insurance agent even if you intend to pursue an insurance claim against the other driver or the other driver’s insurance company. Your insurance coverage may entitle you to benefits that you may eventually need to use. This step is even more important if the other driver does not have any car insurance as you may be eligible to compensation from your own insurance company under your uninsured motorist coverage.
4. Contact a car accident lawyer. – You may need to contact a car accident lawyer in cases where the damage or injury caused by the car accident you were involved in is significant. An expert car accident lawyer can help you get compensation to cover losses caused by the accident like property repair, medical bills, and lost wages. Make sure that you present your car accident lawyer with the police and DMV reports of the accident.
Keep in mind that your safety is important, but it’s also important to know where to file your complaints and claims to ensure that you are protected and compensated after an accident.
Involved in a car accident lawsuit? Contact us at Hogan Injury for legal advice.