The last thing you want is to get into an auto accident. But it’s important to know that your next steps could determine the outcome of your claim.
Here are the 5 steps we recommend that you take after an auto accident.
Move your car off the road if you are able and turn on your hazard lights. If your vehicle is unable to move, turn on your hazard lights.
It’s important that other cars see the scene of the accident so they can avoid it. This is especially true if the weather conditions limit visibility.
The hazard lights will tell other drivers to go around you. Make sure it’s safe before getting out of your vehicle. It’s not unheard of for car accident survivors to get hit by traffic when trying to get out of their vehicles.
Are you okay? Check yourself for injuries and don’t brush off any dizziness or tiredness. These could be signs of traumatic brain injury. Sometimes people will feel fine only to succumb later to internal injuries.
Check on your passengers and see if the other driver and their passengers are okay. Call 911 for even the slightest injuries.
The most valuable piece of evidence you can show your insurance company is a police report. This is why it’s important to call the police immediately after an auto accident.
Be sure to cooperate with law enforcement and answer all their questions truthfully. Avoid admitting fault in the accident or blaming the other party. The police will be able to write their report of what happened based on the facts, not accusations.
If there are no injuries resulting from the collision, the police might not arrive at the scene. In this case, you would need to file an auto accident report with the local DMV.
While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, you’ll want to be taking down as much information as possible. If you have your smartphone with you, you’ll want to take as many pictures of the accident as possible.
Photograph any damage to your car or to the other party’s car. Also, photograph any other damaged property such as fences or signs. If they’re any witnesses to the accident, be sure to get their contact information.
All this information can prove invaluable when filing an auto insurance claim. It’ll also help when trying to win compensation for auto accident injuries.
Call the number on the back of your auto insurance card. The representative on the other end will tell you everything you need to know to.
Your insurance company should work with you so you can get your car repaired as soon as possible. If your insurance is unwilling to pay, call an experienced personal injury attorney.