Car accidents are stressful enough on their own without having to worry about protecting your financial assets. Not only can car accidents be expensive and time-consuming, but the consequences can last for years if you’re not careful. Once you’ve been in a car accident, your adrenaline is racing and you don’t know what the next step should be to protect yourself. Read this guide now so you’re prepared and can handle the situation when the time comes.
1. Remain Calm After the Accident
It’s easy to fall into panic and worry after an accident, but recognize that this would not solve the situation. Instead, keep your wits about you as best as you can. Remain calm and help yourself and the other driver. It’s never a good idea to lash out at the other driver or to take your anger out on anyone around you. Focus on securing your car and ensuring your own safety as well as that of anyone else involved. Don’t point figures or take the blame, just remain calm in these initial stages. Finally, if you or anyone involved needs medical attention, now is the time to call an ambulance and notify the authorities.
2. Take Photos
We are lucky to live in an age of smartphone technology. Check with your insurance provider to see if they offer an app with claim photo submissions available through the app. Nowadays, it is now possible to take photos and submit them to your insurance digitally on your phone. Even if your insurance does not have an app, use your phone to take photos of the damage to your car. Don’t forget to also take photos of any debris on the ground or broken signage.
3. File a Report
A police report is necessary no matter how small the accident. Even if there are no injuries after the crash and your vehicle is not damaged, it is still important to file a report with the police. You can do this by calling the police non-emergency line and creating an official statement. This is so important because in cases you are sued later on, you can verify the situation with the office report later on. In many cases medical injuries will not reveal themselves until days or even months later after an accident, so you might need a report to file an insurance claim.
Don’t delay to file your report. If the police are not already on the scene, you can drive directly to the police station. You want to file the report while the accident is still fresh in your mind. The longer you wait, the more likely you’ll skip important information.
4. Exchange Driver Information
You should always exchange information with the other driver involved. When talking to the driver, censor what you say. It is not necessary to point fingers or claim fault. While you should be courteous, avoid saying anything that could be used against you later. Just refer to the facts and keep opinions to yourself.
Sometimes other drivers will attempt to talk to you directly about the potential cost of damaged or who is at fault for the accident. In this case, don’t engage in discussion. Instead, say your insurance will contact them or refer to the police officer assigned to the scene.
When exchanging information, write down things like the driver’s name and any passengers involved as well as contact information. Don’t forget about license plate numbers and insurance information. If there is a police officer on the scene, write down their information as well.
5. Report Your Accident to Insurance and Seek Help
The last step is to report your accident to your insurance company officially. This can sometimes be the most complicated aspect of any accident. Refer to the terms of your policy for instructions on how to report an accident. Sometimes you need assistance getting the full extent of coverage paid after an accident. In this case, it’s worth speaking to an expert like Truck Accident Lawyer Los Angeles. A skilled attorney or accident specialist will know the best way to get you the justice you deserve after an accident.
It’s hard to return to life as normal after an accident, especially if you were injured. You need to take the right steps to protect yourself financially so you don’t discover yourself in a bad situation where you’re at risk. These steps above should protect you after an accident so you can return to your life.