Getting into an accident is a stressful experience, whether you’re in a simple fender bender or in an accident with property damage or injuries. It’s essential that you take the time to breathe, gather your thoughts, and take the necessary actions after an automobile accident. Keep these four things in mind that you should do after an accident to protect yourself and ensure everything goes as smooth as possible.
Remain at the Scene
Never leave the scene of an accident. Regardless of whether there are damages or injuries, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident. If you do, even if you aren’t at fault, you will be charged with a hit and run. If at all possible, you should move the cars out of the middle of the road and try to make sure that everyone is safe. There’s no reason to let an accident get worse because you are in the middle of a road.
It may not seem like the most important thing on your mind, but make sure that you take pictures of what happened to your car and the other person’s car and of the scene. If at all possible, get a picture of the cars before you move them to the side of the road. These photos will be used to evaluate the damage and help your insurance company come to a settlement. It will also keep the other person from claiming damages that were not a part of the crash. Make sure your pictures are taken in good lighting and from all angles.
Contact Your Insurance Company
When you get home, contact your insurance company and let them know what happened. The sooner they know about the accident, the sooner they can reach a resolution with the other person’s insurance company. When you contact them, they may want to take your statement immediately, so set aside some time to talk them through what happened. Before you call, take notes about what happened, where it happened, what the damages are, and what the police said. These notes will help you keep your story straight when talking to the agent.
Contact an Attorney
In the event that you or a passenger are seriously injured, you may want to consider a personal injury lawsuit. The purpose of this suit is not to punish the other person, but to help you pay for any medical costs that you incur because of the accident. Please be aware that, even if you have injuries, if you are at fault, you will probably not win the settlement. If you decide to pursue a lawsuit, you should find a lawyer who has experience dealing with personal injury and vehicle accident lawsuits. They will help you compile a strong case to get you the resources you need to help with your injuries.
Car accidents are scary and unpredictable, but the time afterward can be easier if you handle the accident aftermath appropriately. Hopefully, you won’t get into an accident and need to use these tips, but you’re well prepared if you do end up in the unfortunate incident.
Jenn Montgomery is a freelance writer, editor, and blogger based in San Diego. She writes on a variety of topics and enjoys learning new things. She graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Rhetoric and Writing Studies. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, baking, and knitting. You can contact her on Twitter.