No one ever thinks they’re going to be in an accident but statistically, it’s bound to happen. The moments and days after a car accident are a whirlwind but there are a lot of important steps to take during that time to protect your health, finances, and future. Don’t be unprepared – in the event of an accident here are the 7 most important steps you should take:
1. Stop the car and get to safety.
Even if you think there wasn’t damage, you need to pull over. If possible, get somewhere safe and out of traffic.
2. Check on all passengers involved.
Make sure that everyone is okay and call for medical help if you need to.
3. Call the police.
Even if the accident isn’t major, a police officer can provide calm, third-party guidance between you and the other driver. The police can also help you get a police report, an important document that is required by many insurance companies.
4. Collect information.
There’s a lot of information you need to collect. This comes in the form of:
- Driver Info: The other driver’s name, address, insurance credentials and car information.
- Photos: Vehicle damage, damage to surrounding objects and structures and tire marks.
- Police Info: Get the officer’s name and badge number and ask them how you can get the police report.
- Witness Info: Get their contact info in case their statement is needed later on.
5. Get checked out by a doctor – even if you seem OK.
After the shock of an accident, you might not realize you are hurt. By seeking medical care immediately after your accident, you will be in good care once the adrenaline wears off.
6. Report the accident to your insurance company.
Many insurance companies have a window of time that they require you to report your accident so do it as soon as possible. Make sure to stick with the facts: location, date, time, the other driver’s information, and any injuries you have.
7. Protect yourself from other insurance companies.
A lot of times after an accident, people receive calls from the other driver’s insurance company. They might try to convince you that you need to give them a statement or try to get you to accept a financial offer.
Don’t fall for their tricks. Remember, you are only required to give a statement to your insurance company. And, if the other guys are reaching out for a settlement, they know your accident is worth more.
The best way to protect your rights after a car accident is to talk to an experienced car accident attorney, like the ones at Tracey & Fox. They take care of the insurance companies, forms, and break down your options so you can focus on recovering. The best part? You don’t have to pay them anything unless they win your claim.
It never hurts to explore your options – especially since meeting with an attorney is absolutely free. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.