What to Do After A Motor Vehicle Accidents
- March 6, 2017
It’s important to know how to respond properly after you get in a car accident, both for your safety and to ensure that you get the information you need.
The first thing to do after any car accident is to stop and see if there is a safe place nearby that you can pull over, assuming that your car isn’t too damaged to do so. Turn your emergency lights on so other drivers will be able to see you more easily. If you have anything else that you can use to further boost your visibility, such as flashlights or flares, use those as well.
You should call the police after any accident, that way they can come make a police report to record what happened. When you talk to the police, explain how the accident occurred to the best of your recollection. It’s fine if you don’t remember certain details or can’t answer every question they ask you, as these things happen quickly. However, make sure that you don’t guess at what happened. Only provide the police with the facts.
One important thing to remember is that if the police or anyone else asks you if you’re injured and you don’t think that you are, say that you’re not sure yet, because that is the correct answer. You can’t be sure if you’re injured until you see a doctor. The symptoms of an injury from a car accident may not show up immediately, but if you tell the police that you’re not injured and then find out later that you are, the other driver’s insurance company can use that statement in an attempt to deny your injury claim.
You should take pictures of any damage to your vehicle as well as any obvious injuries that you’ve suffered. When the police make their report, they will also collect information from you and the other driver, and then exchange that information between the two of you. If the police don’t come to the scene, make sure that you exchange information with the other driver yourself. Collect their name, address, phone number and insurance policy information, including the name of their insurance company and their insurance policy number.
If there are any witnesses, collect their contact information, as well. You can provide this to your insurance adjuster so they can follow up with those witnesses and get their statements.
Call your insurance company as soon as possible after you’ve had a car accident. They can advise you on what your policy covers and get you set up if you need any immediate services, such as towing for a damaged car or a rental car to get around while your own vehicle is out of commission.
It’s a smart move to see a doctor right away after you’ve been in a car accident. The best option is to go to the emergency room at the nearest hospital to get checked out. Even if you’re feeling completely fine, the accident could have resulted in an injury.
Make a folder with all your documentation related to the accident, including the other driver’s information and any notes that you have regarding what happened. You should also consult with a lawyer after you’ve been in a car accident. Insurance companies often dispute liability, and if you make the wrong statement or sign the wrong document, you could end up weakening your claim or even getting it dismissed. A lawyer can instruct you on the correct steps to take as you go forward to ensure that you don’t harm your own insurance claim.