Accidents are never intentional by definition. However, that doesn’t mean one should take you by surprise if you are involved in one. According to research, at least once in a lifetime, the average person will experience an accident. Knowing what to do if it ever happens to you is essential. We will discuss the best steps to follow after an accident to ensure recovery and compensation for damages.
Is It Necessary to Have a Car Accident Lawyer?
After an accident, there is much confusion, especially if you are the victim. You are likely to end up with physical or emotional trauma that might not place you in a position to function effectively while following the steps to recovery. That is why you need a car accident attorney to help you enable a quick recovery. It is possible to work without a lawyer, but it is best to hire one to save you the hassle of dealing with the insurance company and the legal world.
What to Do After a Car Accident
1. Do Not Move or Run After the Accident
Whether it is a minor or serious car accident, leaving the scene afterward is never the best option. The only exception is if you have suffered serious injuries that require immediate medical attention. Otherwise, make sure your car’s engine is switched off and use hazard lights to alert other road users before contacting the police.
2. Call the Police
Calling the police is legally required and very important after an accident, especially if there is significant property damage, physical injuries, or death. The officers will file a report of what took place at the scene. Moreover, the police information will be relevant when filing an insurance claim.
3. Exchange Information
Collect the basic information of the other party involved, which includes the name, contact number, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and license plate. Avoid discussing who’s at fault for the incident, as this information can easily be used against you when filing an insurance claim.
4. Document the Incident
Keep an accurate record of what happened at the time of the accident by doing the following:
- Getting the name and badge number of all responding officers
- Getting a copy of the accident report
- Taking the names and contact information of all the parties involved
- Talking to witnesses if there were any and getting their contact information
- Keeping all the documentation
You should ensure all the information is accurate and should not guess or speculate on facts.
5. Contact Your Lawyer
Car accident attorneys come in handy when fighting for a proper settlement from the insurer. You must pick a professional lawyer who will know how to go about negotiating with the insurance company. Let the lawyer know what went down on the day of the accident so they will know what needs to be done to successfully resolve your claim.
6. Notify the Insurer and Start the Claim Process
It is essential to notify the insurance company that is responsible for settling the accident. With the help of your lawyer, you will present the amount that covers your damages and negotiate to reach that amount.
7. Settle Your Insurance Claim
Before signing off on your settlement, consult your attorney and ensure that the amount offered by the insurance company will truly cover your damages and losses.
8. Seek Medical Attention
Most victims report feeling the aftermath of an accident after a day or two. Unless you are sure you weren’t injured, seek medical attention to avoid hidden permanent injuries that surprise you later.
Protect Your Rights with the Help of an Attorney
The most important thing you can do after the accident is contact your attorney. He or she will ensure you are fully compensated and receive the best medical treatment.