What Should You Do After A Car Accident? Tips And Advice — Hometown Station | KHTS FM 98.1 & AM 1220 — Santa Clarita Radio
A car accident can happen at any moment, but the shock, anger, and fear you may be feeling at the point of the collision can cloud your judgment. Without realizing it, you may make a bad call, reject much-needed help from others, or not gather the correct information. To avoid making a mistake that could affect your claim, your health, or freedom, follow these 8 tips and advice.
8 Steps to Follow Immediately After a Car Accidents
Immediately after your car collides with another, stop the car. You should never leave the scene of an accident because it could cause the law to assume you were at fault or committed a crime. After stopping the car, stay calm, take a breath and assess the situation. Then…
- Check Surrounds: Before leaving the car, make sure you pull off to the side and turn your hazard lights on. If possible, set up reflectors and flares to warn oncoming traffic.
- Address Your Injuries: Do you feel a sudden sharp pain, notice lacerations, or broken bone or strain? Don’t leave the car if your injuries are severe enough.
- Address Car Damage and the Other Driver: Leave your car and check for damages on both vehicles. Inquire to the other driver if they need urgent medical care.
- Call the Police or Ambulance: If either party is hurt, call the ambulance. You should always call the police regardless of the extent of the damage to file a report.
- Gather Information: Ask for the driver’s name, insurance company name and policy number, license plate, vehicle types, location of the accident, and witness’s name.
- Take Pictures: Take pictures with your or someone else’s phone of the damage incurred on both vehicles, the accident scene, and the drivers, passengers, or witnesses.
- Move Vehicle: When you can do so safely, get both cars out of the flow of traffic. Hire a towing company if the car is too damaged to drive or has protruding parts.
- Limit Discussions About the Accident: Don’t speak to anyone about the accident other than a lawyer or representative, as that could affect your insurance claim.
According to Dolmanlaw.com, you should hire a car accident lawyer if you’ve suffered a severe injury, especially if it affects your quality of life. If you’re blamed for the accident or the driver’s injuries, are afraid you’ll say something that could affect your case, or you want to receive more money for your settlement, a car accident lawyer can protect you and fight for compensation.
How to File a Car Accident Claim
After filing a police report, collecting information about the car accident, and calling your insurance company, you can report your claim. The claims office will walk you through on how to appropriately file a claim after a car crash, but you must start this process immediately. If you’re filing a personal injury claim, that statute of limitations is 2 years after the accident occurs.
Car accident claims don’t have such a stringent deadline, but it’s best to file a claim quickly, so the information is fresh, and the evidence can still be examined. At this point, the other driver may try to make you admit fault or suggest handling the matter without insurance. It’s best not to listen to them, as going through your insurance company will benefit both drivers.
While in the process of filing a claim, you should contact your insurance company or state insurance commissioner to ask about laws regarding claims and how you’ll be paid.
Stick to the facts, listen to your insurance company and lawyer, and protect yourself from the other drivers’ insurance provider. Both parties are interested in paying as little as possible to the other drivers, and the other party may tell you false or incorrect information.
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