What to Do If you Get Into An Accident
Regardless if the accident was your fault or not, there are steps you should take to ensure you get the best of care. In any accident, remember to gather as much information as possible, even if it seems “excessive,” as one small detail can make a world of differences to your insurance company. Keep the scene as it was, and if possible, do not move your vehicle(s). These are the steps to take after an accident:
Write down everything that happened
Write down the date and time, the approximate address of the accident, the road(s) you and the other party were on as well as the nearest cross streets. Write down the direction you and the other party were traveling in, and how fast you were going. Noting any other conditions such as weather, visibility, hazards, and road conditions will also help describe the scene. Try to keep this part of your statement as formal as possible. Write down your initial thoughts and complete the full statement once you have calmed down. This can be an incredibly emotional time, but it’s important to submit a statement that will not compromise your case
Correspond properly with the other party
Exchange all personal information from the other driver. Find out their full legal name, address, insurance policy number, and contact information. Remember to get an accurate description of their car and license plate. This can be very emotional, but try to stay calm when interacting. Do not admit fault to the other party and try to keep interactions to a minimum. Keep record of any messages and conversations you have.
Gather as much evidence as possible
It’s important to recreate the scene as much as possible. Take as many pictures and videos as possible, and sketch the scene if possible. See if you can talk to any witnesses who are willing to cooperate, and get statements from them as well. Speak to the officer on the scene and get their name, badge number, and contact information. Police will often take their own pictures, sketches, and statements that will be available to you within 24 hours. A copy of their report may reveal something you did not see upon the initial crash.
Be sure to speak with the police as much as possible. Their statements will reveal what damages were caused by your accident and nothing more. Even though it may be intimidating interacting with police, speaking with them more than the other party will ensure everything is properly handled. The police report only acts as a record of the accident, it is not a claim on your insurance.
Seek medical attention and ensure anyone involved is also okay
Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, be sure to speak to a healthcare professional immediately after your crash. Delaying or refusing treatment for your injuries can compromise your case. Take pictures and videos of all injuries, and get the information of the healthcare professional handling your case.
Talking With Your Insurance Company
Before you speak with your insurance company, call a personal injury lawyer to ensure you’ll receive the best of care during this time. It’s especially important that you speak to a lawyer if you, or someone else is injured.
Even if you don’t file a claim with your insurance company, you still need to report an accident to your insurance company and the police. Do not give a recorded statement if you are medicated, tired, upset, or confused. Your lawyer can assist you in making any statements to your insurance company, or can do it on your behalf if you’re unable to.
Dealing with your insurance company can be challenging and emotional. Hiring an auto accident personal injury lawyer will ensure someone who’s knowledgeable on insurance claims will be on your side, and will help you receive all the damages you deserve.
Types of Accidents
An insurance company will determine who pays damages by who’s at-fault. At-fault drivers must be more than 50% liable in order for them to be considered negligent, and will likely see their insurance increase when it renews. These drivers’ insurance will pay for most of, or all the damages. If you’re an at-fault driver, it’s important to remember insurance will only pay what your policy limits, and your state can affect those with no-fault coverage. Drivers not at-fault must prove the other party was negligent during the incident in order to receive compensation. The money that goes towards the no-fault driver’s compensation will come from the at-fault driver’s insurance.
With no-fault insurance, drivers will pay for their own damages, regardless of who’s at-fault, with their own insurance. No-fault insurance prevents taking another driver to court to pay for another party’s expenses. This policy only covers medical expenses, and is only available in some states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
Speak with your insurance provider to see if you have no-fault insurance available in your state, and if it’ll cover your accident.
How to Start the Process of Filing an Auto Accident Personal Injury claim
1. Contact MyCaseHelper to connect with a law firm in your state to represent you. A local attorney is usually more experienced with your auto accident situation than a lawyer from out of state.
2. Check your state and local laws regarding your situation and find out if you are required to hire an independent or third party to represent you.
3. Get copies of any documents, statements, or evidence that may be helpful to your case.
4 . Document your statement of injuries, medical bills, damages, and costs.
5. File your claim with your local personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to minimize delays and costs.
6. Be sure to include all pertinent documents when filing your claim with the court.
It can be frustrating and emotional dealing with insurance companies, especially if there are significant damages and injuries involved. Having one of our Premier Partners on your side to help handle your accident will ensure you receive everything you should be compensated for.