What to Do After a Car Accident: Essential Steps to Take

Chances are, if you drive daily, you have fallen victim to a fender-bender or two. But do you know what to do in a spur-of-the-moment heart-pounding situation? Many people do not understand what to do if they experience the unfortunate reality of a car accident.

You may benefit from calling a car accident lawyer in Thousand Oaks to discuss your best options. Moving forward may get you on the path to returning to your everyday life sooner than you imagined.

Pull Over to a Safe Spot on The Road

The very first thing you need to do after you have been in a collision is get to a safe place. Pull off the road and out of the way of any potential traffic. You want to be as safe as possible for you and everyone else traveling in the area since being in the middle of the road is unsafe.

Make Sure Everyone Involved is Ok

One of the first things to do is ensure you are not seriously injured. It would be best to check on the other people involved in the accident to see if urgent care is needed. It often goes overlooked, but each individual’s health is the most important thing.

Call The Police

It is always a good idea to call the police when you have been in an accident. You want someone there to keep you safe while handling your accident and ensure the incident is documented for future reference. A police officer can better assist you with any questions or concerns.

Exchange Insurance Information

Giving your information to the other party and taking down theirs is always a good idea in case their insurance provider needs to reimburse you. First, it keeps the other parties accountable for their role in the accident.

Not only does it keep the other party accountable, but it allows you to get in touch with someone from their side to get any paperwork you might need on their end.

Last but not least, one of the essential things about exchanging insurance information is it allows you to get compensated. It is much harder to get compensated for your troubles if you do not know who to contact about the money you are entitled to.

Get Checked by Medical Personnel

When you are in a collision, you could get injured. You may feel fine right after it happens because you are in shock. However, later on, the injuries, like whiplash, could become apparent. 

Take Photos of The Accident

Part of the documentation process of your accident involves getting pictures to help back up your claim. It is harder for the opposing side’s insurance provider to be combative against your claim if you have undeniable proof of what happened at the scene. The more evidence you have, the better off you will be.

Contact Your Insurance Provider

There will be a lot going on, so it is vital to keep on top of things. Calling your insurance provider to let them know about the collision is one of your top priorities when you’ve been in an accident. 

Making a claim early not only gets some of the hassle out of the way, but it gets the ball rolling on your case. Be thorough when reviewing the details of what happened, as keeping certain information from your insurance company could lead to your claim being questioned down the road.

Common Questions About What To Do After A Car Accident

The aftermath of a car crash should not upend your life. You are not alone in this battle, and the questions you may have are legitimate concerns. 

Can I File a Claim For Minimal Damage?

Yes, you can file a claim for minimal damage. However, you and the other party may decide against this option. You may both decide to go the out-of-pocket route instead to keep your insurance from going up. Each accident is different, so you should speak with someone experienced to aid you with your decisions.

Can I File a Claim Regardless of Who is at Fault? 

You can file a claim regardless of whether you were at fault in an accident or not, depending on your state.

Do I Have to Report the Accident if No One Was Hurt and No Damage Occurred?

Laws regarding the reporting of car accidents will vary by state, but if a severe injury occurs or one of the vehicles involved is significantly damaged, you may be required to contact the police. 

However, if nobody involved in the accident suffered considerable damage, and only little to no damage was done to the vehicles, you may not need to report the incident. However, just because it may not be necessary to report the incident by law, it is still a good idea to do so anyway.

Where Can I Get a Copy of The Incident Report?

Obtaining a copy of the incident report is simple and straightforward. All you need to do to get your copy is go to the police station of the department that responded to the accident.

Remember that you will most likely be charged a fee to obtain a copy of the incident report. The cost of the incident report is not much. It is just a small filing fee intended to cover the cost of the paper used. A few dollars should be enough to get a copy into your possession.

How Long Does An Insurance Company Have to Pay My Claim?

Commonly, the insurance company has about one month to investigate your auto insurance claim. This amount of time will vary based on the state your accident occurs in. Most states work to ensure claims are quickly processed without unwarranted delays. The process can take longer to complete if there is a severe accident or an investigation about coverage is necessary. The investigation portion is what takes the most time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *