No one wants to think about getting in an auto accident.
But if you’re among the millions of people involved in collisions on our nation’s roads each year, you need to be familiar with the process so you can protect yourself. After all, how you react can reduce your costs and speed up the repair process.
So if you find yourself in a car accident, try to remain calm and follow these steps:
· Step 1: Make safety your priority. Move your car to a location out of traffic if it poses danger to yourself and others. Help or get help for injured people. If you can’t move your car, then remain inside with your seatbelt on. Call 911 to contact the police.
· Step 2: Begin collecting information. Exchange contact and insurance information with other drivers involved (getting contact information from witnesses is beneficial as well). Also, write down descriptions of each car involved in the accident.
· Step 3: Remain polite. Do your best to be respectful to others involved in the accident as well as the police, but always speak with your attorney before accepting any blame or giving statements
· Step 4: Report the accident. Tell your insurance agent about any damages as soon as possible and file a claim. If you’re seeking compensation for your injuries or damages, you’ll need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company as well.
Occasionally, your car accident will require additional action. If you need legal advice when making your claim, an attorney experienced in dealing with personal injuries cases can help you. If legal action is necessary, an attorney will often accept your case on a contingency basis. That means you don’t pay attorney fees unless a recovery is made on your behalf.
Unfortunately, you have no way of knowing if the other driver(s) involved will report the accident to his insurance company. In some cases, he may even declare injuries that weren’t apparent after the collision.
This is why it’s important you document as much information as possible Also, even if your insurance company needs to compensate someone for injuries or damages, you can sometimes avoid a premium hike if the payment is below a certain amount.