It’s not always easy to handle an accident, especially when it happens in the middle of a busy intersection with lots of traffic.
It can be hard enough just trying to figure out who was at fault, let alone what you should do next to protect your rights and avoid being taken advantage of by other drivers. But if you follow these seven steps immediately after a car collision, you’ll have a much better chance of getting through unscathed.
1. Get all the necessary contact information
The first thing to do once you’ve stepped out of the car is to get the contact information for any other drivers involved in the collision, as well as witnesses. It’s also important to get your own insurance company’s phone number. The exact contact numbers will vary according to which country you are in, so find out what they are ahead of time.
2. Take photos of the accident scene from all angles
After you have sorted through all this information, it’s important to take photos of the accident scene from all angles with special attention given to any skid marks or debris on the road that could be important evidence. Make sure not to disturb anything at the scene. The seasoned personal injury lawyers at www.helpinginjuredpeople.com say that if you are afraid and hesitant about what to do, it’s important to consult with professionals to handle your legal matters. It can be tempting just to hop back into your car and leave after an accident, but it’s important to stay at the scene until you’ve filed a report with the police.
3. Never admit fault
Never admit that you were responsible for the accident, instead say that you are “still figuring things out.” This is extremely important to remember. It is important not to admit fault because it could void your claim. That means that if you later find out that the other driver was at fault, you won’t be able to claim money for damages if you admitted fault with them. This is particularly important in cases where the liability is unclear and you don’t want to make a statement about who was at fault for the accident.
4. Don’t sign anything without reading it carefully
When a police officer arrives to take your report, he will often ask you to sign a piece of paper that has been filled out by hand or read you something prepared in advance and ask if you agree with the statement. Read everything very carefully and ask questions if anything is unclear. The next thing you should do is ask how much your deductible will be before agreeing to pay for damages. You don’t want to be stuck with a $1000 bill when you just had $200 worth of damage!
5. Call your insurance company as soon as possible
Call your insurance company as soon as possible to let them know of the situation and get a clear understanding of what your options are going forward. Your insurance company will be able to advise you whether or not you’re responsible for damages, how much money is available on your policy, and more.
6. Wait for an adjuster from your insurance company to come to inspect the damage
Be patient, it may take a few days to get an adjuster out. They are busy helping lots of people following car accidents, but they will come when they can. Be ready with the photos you took at the scene along with your estimate before he or she arrives. It’s important that you give them room to do their full inspection and explain the process to you if necessary.
7. Make sure to get all of your questions answered
After everything is said and done, it’s important that you always make sure to get all of your questions answered and read every piece of paperwork very carefully before signing anything. The last thing you want to do is be taken advantage of after an exhausting day!
Being in a car crash can be scary and confusing. You may not know what steps to take or how to handle the situation, but we’ve outlined some basic guidelines that will help you navigate the aftermath of an accident, get contact information for any other drivers involved plus witnesses, take photos from different angles with special attention given to evidence on the road, don’t admit fault when talking with the police unless it’s clear who is at fault; ask your insurance company about deductibles before agreeing to pay for damages, call your insurance company as soon as possible after getting out of the car and waiting for them to come to inspect damage caused by accident. After following these simple tips, hopefully, you’ll feel more prepared should another incident occur in which you’re behind.