The United States usually records over six million car accidents each year. As it turns out, nearly all crashes involve property damage. After the crash, the chances of being shaken up to think clearly are high. And due to emotions and trauma, it’s easy to make decisions that can limit your right to compensation from auto insurance companies and at-fault drivers. Visit caraccidentlawyersperth.com.au for accident injury claims assistance. Therefore, it’s important to know what to do next, whether a mere fender bender or a serious crash. The following are steps to take after the crash:
Confirm the injuries
Safety is often the priority. Therefore, don’t leave the accident scene, whether it’s a minor or serious crash. Determine if there is any casualty. If there is, seek assistance from the nearby administration. Sometimes, it’s important to call the police. Through this, you’ll be able to provide an official report that your insurance company will likely ask for.
If the cars involved are still operative, tow them off the main road and turn the hazard lights on. Ensure to tow them completely to prevent further accidents by other vehicles. Set your reflective emergency triangles to warn other motorists.
In general, you only need to provide your name and the insurance details to the other party involved. It’s also advisable to limit your interaction when discussing the accident details with the other party. It is in this stage that many drivers often admit guilt and disclose their insurance policy limits.
Document the accident
You’ll need to document the accident scene diligently. The following are what you need to capture:
- Images of all damages
- Images of the other party’s license plate
- Date and time of the crash
- Take notes on what happened. The details should include the road conditions and the speed you were driving. If possible, draw the scene diagram and how the crash happened.
Filing the claim
If you are not at fault, you don’t need to file the claim. However, remember that even a minor accident can cost you a lot.
If you are not at fault, you’ll have to file a claim with the company of the at-fault driver. Therefore you need to alert your insurance company. Your insurer may file the claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer on your behalf.
Also, remember that you may still need to use your insurance even if you are not at fault. In such an instance, you’ll have to file the claim with your insurer and be ready to pay a deductible. Your insurer will liaise with the other driver’s insurance company and pay back your deductible.
Determine the available car insurance coverage
The available coverage depends on several factors, including the person at fault and the coverage maintained by each driver. In a scenario where you are not at fault, the other party’s insurance will cover:
- Medical expenses of you and your passengers to the policy of their insurance limit for bodily injury.
- Damages to your car and other assets to the at fault’s policy limit
The following are what your insurance policy will cover:
- In some circumstances, drivers can carry PIP coverage. The insurance steps in regardless of the person at fault and can cover medical expenses. Sometimes, it can cover lost wages, services, and funeral bills.
- Uninsured or underinsured may cover property damages or medical bills if the at-fault doesn’t have enough insurance.
- If you need a rental car following the damages to your car, your policy will help you cover the car rental bills.
Call your insurer
The next step is to call your insurance providers and report the incident. It’s a good idea to be the first person to call on an accident instead of allowing the other party or their insurance to report the claim before you. Calling your insurance company lets them know more regarding the accident. Additionally, they may send the adjuster to access the accident scene.
Calling your insurance company is always important regardless of whether it’s a minor or major accident. And it’s important to take this action within the shortest time possible. Apart from protection, this can be part of your insurance contract. Failure to do so, you’ll be risking the chances of getting compensated
Call the relevant attorney.
After reporting the accident to your insurance company, the next step is to call a qualified car attorney. Even if the accident seems minor, you don’t know the legal consequences it can lead to, and you need to ensure that you are protected. You also need to seek an attorney even if you are sure that the insurance company will cover your damages. Keep in mind that insurers wish to pay the small possible amount. An attorney helps protect your rights and interests.
Gather your records
Keep your records even if everything is sorted. This will help you when the other party’s lawsuit begins. So to be fully protected, you’ll have to gather records of the accident.
After everything is sorted, it’s often luring to avoid medications. However, this isn’t a good idea. It’s important to get evaluated within a few days after the incident. Injuries may not manifest right after the accident and may actually take days, weeks or even months before symptoms appear. Some injuries may take weeks or even months to manifest. Therefore, it’s important to get evaluated a few moments after the crash.
Quick settlement isn’t a good idea.
The insurance company of the at-fault driver can ask for a quick settlement. The company may give you a certain amount of cash to sign a release of future claims. It’s often a huge amount of cash that many drivers usually fall into this trap.
It’s advisable to wait until you are thoroughly evaluated by chiropodists before signing anything. Additionally, you need to settle and ensure that there are no further injuries. Most importantly, don’t sign anything before conducting your attorney to ensure that the settlement is fair. As a reminder, signing a release means you’ll no longer get compensation from the insurance company.
The bottom line
Driving is risk-bound. Accidents are likely to happen no matter how responsible you might be on the road. Therefore, it’s important to know various steps after the crash. The above discussed steps are what you need a few moments after the accident.