What To Do After a Car Accident And What Not To Do After a Car Accident
The odds of you getting in a car accident sometime in your lifetime are pretty high. It is estimated that every driving adult will have at least one car accident every 15 years. It is important that you know what to do after a car accident.
There are over 3 million car accidents each year. If you find yourself in an accident you have to know what to do. Knowing what to do after a car accident will ensure that you are prepared just in case and will be able to deal well with the situation.
The Rules of What to Do After a Car Accident
There are basic rules that apply to every type of car accident. Whether you are involved in a hit and run accident injury or a simple fender bender, these rules always apply.
Rule Number One
Never leave the scene of the accident. This first rule is an incredibly important rule to follow. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal and you can be charged. On the other side of the coin, if you take the other driver’s information and leave the scene, and that driver has given you false information, you may not have any options for finding the driver.
Call the police and wait for them to come before you leave. Make sure you file a police report, it will help with the insurance claim.
Rule Number Two
Get medical care immediately if you have been rear-ended or have any injuries. This is no time to be a hero. The real physical damage of many car accident injuries do not manifest for a couple of days. It is best to go to the emergency room to get checked out.
If you go to the emergency room and nothing is wrong, great. If you go to the emergency room and they find that you, in fact, do have injuries, you can start getting treatment right away which will help you get back on your feet faster. Either way, you win.
If the emergency room doctor suggests further care or an additional consult with a chiropractor for accident injuries make sure you keep the appointment. If you are really opposed to the long waits in the ER go to the closest urgent care location to get checked out.
Rule Number Three
Do not underestimate the damage to your vehicle. A lot of people make the mistake of blowing off a car accident as a minor issue. The fact is you really do not know whether your vehicle will need heavy auto body repair or simple car dent repair until it is checked out. This is not the time to just figure it does not look to bad. Always switch information with the other driver, preferably in the presence of law enforcement, then always go and have the car checked out. One of the main things to remember about what to do after a car accident is to take it seriously.
What looks like might be some simple dent repair can have a lot more damage under the skin that can affect the safety of your car.
Rule Number Four
If you have been in a car accident and suffered injuries or property damage, talk to a car accident attorney, before you talk to anyone else. A car accident attorney specializes in representing people that have been in a car accident. They can help to keep the stress down while you are trying to navigate the aftermath of the car accident.
Rule Number Five
Another important rule of what to do after a car accident is to keep good records of the event. Document everything and see if you can get any witnesses’ information. There is a phenomenon that occurs after a car accident. That driver that just t-boned you at the stop sign, maybe all apologetic at the scene, but suddenly when the police show up, they somehow forget that the accident was their fault.
If there are any witnesses if you are able, get their phone numbers and names, you never know if you may have to call on them. It can be hard to believe that people will suddenly deny fault, but it happens all the time. Car dashboard camera sales have skyrocketed for this very reason. What to do after a car accident includes looking for witnesses on the scene. Get names, and numbers to help prove your case if you need to.
Those Were The Basics Now For Additional What To Do After A Car Accident Information
You followed all the basic rules of what to do after a car accident, but there is more. When you have been involved in a car accident and have suffered injuries as well as property damage, it falls on you to build your case with the insurance company.
It is important that you keep good records, see the chiropractor for accident victims if recommended, and keep in touch with your attorney to keep them updated. Even if you have an exceptional attorney on your side, ultimately the burden of staying organized falls on your shoulders.
Your first goal should be to get back on your feet. That means not returning to work until your doctor clears you and seeing an auto accident chiropractor and other specialists as you need to. It can be frustrating to have to deal with not being able to work and having to keep doctor’s appointments but it is in the best interest of your case to do so.
What to do after a car accident, is take care of yourself. Make yourself a priority.
It can take months for you to heal from a car accident, sometimes longer. Stay on course, get yourself well, and stay focused on the temporary nature of the situation.
Now let’s Talk About What You Should NOT Do After an Auto Accident
For all the things you should do after an auto accident there are plenty of things you should not do after an auto accident. Here are a few things you should not do after an auto accident and why: Don’t talk about the accident with anyone if you have a pending claim. Anything you say can be taken out of context and you never know exactly how deep the insurance company will dig. Don’t underplay your injuries and rush back to work. Don’t confuse the insurance adjusters interest in you with concern for you. It can be tempting to discuss the accident with friends and acquaintances but don’t. Anything that you discuss can be misconstrued and work against you with the insurance company. Of course, your spouse, your parents, brothers and sisters are not part of the “mums the word” crew, but do be careful with neighbors and people you do not know well. It can be frustrating to stay out of work for as long as the doctor orders as the bills pile up, but going back to work earlier than the doctor says you can, will cost you plenty when it comes to settlement time. Insurance companies do not pay out compensation claims for injuries until the injuries reach MMI (maximum medical improvement) if you do not wait until that point, then the insurance company can use it against you. There is no clear way to make an injury claim and settle the claim if you do not wait until the doctor releases you to go back to work.
Handling the Insurance Adjuster
Handling the insurance adjuster requires its own special section. If your car accident was a bit of damage to your car and no injury, you can skip this part. If your car accident was a bit more severe you will want to keep on reading.
Most people think that because they pay their insurance every month, that the insurance adjuster is there for them when they have a car accident. The fact of the matter is, while it is disappointing to learn, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, not you.
What does it mean that the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company? Well simply put it means that the insurance adjuster does not have your best interest first, they have the insurance company’s best interest first.
The adjuster has tunnel vision when it comes to your claim. They want to settle it quickly, and they want to settle it for the least amount that they can. That means that regardless of your unique accident situation, the goal for the adjuster is the same. Settle the claim fast and do it for less.
Where does that leave you? Be careful what you say to the adjuster. A simple “how are you today?” from the adjuster, answered with a “fine, thank you” by you can affect your case. A friendly conversation can turn into a “client reports feeling fine on such and such a date “ in the insurance report.
Keep in mind that the insurance adjuster is not a casual friend that is looking out for you. They have a job that they have to do and their loyalty is to the employer. This is why it is important to have a lawyer for these types of cases. A lawyer will deal with the adjuster so you do not have to.
In some cases even when there are no injuries and just property damage, the insurance adjuster can be difficult to work with. For example, you love your car and want the insurance company to make the repairs, but the insurance company thinks the car is not worth repairing because it is cheaper for them to give you the book value.
You should know that you have rights, especially when you were found not at fault for the accident. If you do not like what the insurance company is offering do not settle. You can fight back.
What To Do After a Car Accident With Your Car
We have stayed focused on personal injury after a car accident, but what about your car? What do you do about your car? There are a few things that you should do after a car accident involving your car that will make the process easier.
Here is what you should do if your car is involved in an accident:
- If you can pull over to the side of the road, you should. If you cannot because the car is disabled, get out of the car and get out of the road.
- If your car has been disabled have it towed to the nearest body shop. Even if your car can drive if you suspect a mechanical problem do not drive your vehicle. Have the tow truck tow it to the nearest shop.
- Don’t worry about picking up broken parts from your vehicle, they cannot be reused.
Your first order of business is to get to safety. Do not stand on the road by your disabled vehicle. It is not safe and you could put yourself in additional danger. If your car can move, move it out of the road, to help reduce the risk of other cars hitting it.
It is always a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your vehicle that includes a flashlight that has a strobe feature. You can use this flashlight to alert other drivers to the danger at night.
Keep In Mind Car’s Can be Replaced
It can be heartbreaking to see your vehicle after a car accident but just keep in mind that vehicles can be replaced. It is more important than you are safe and that the other vehicle drivers are safe. Get out of the way as soon as you can.
Don’t risk driving your vehicle if you suspect that there has been mechanical damage. It is a risk not worth taking. Of course, there is always the risk that you will cause more damage to the vehicle. Let the tow company tow your car no matter how much it hurts.
Stay safe out there and be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Now you know what to do after a car accident, hopefully you will never need to apply that knowledge.