Hopefully your car accident plan isn’t just planning on not getting into an accident. Even if you are the best driver in the world, there are other drivers out there who you can’t be certain are not going to cause a crash.
This is why you have insurance. Expecting to get through life having never been in an accident is not likely to happen. Which is why you need to have a plan in case it does. There are certain things that should be done immediately after an accident to make sure that you and others are safe, and that the responsible party is identified.
To make sure that insurance companies do the right thing and that any injuries are taken care of, you need to do things a certain way. In this article, we will go over the step by step process of how to deal with a car accident.
You may be tempted to call a lawyer like Lamber Goodnow Injury Lawyers Chicago as the first thing, but this is not the time. You first need to make sure that you and the other people involved in the accident are all ok.
Even if you were not the one responsible for the accident, you are responsible to make sure that others are not injured if you have the ability to do so. If you feel ok, then check the other people in your car if there are any. Then, go to the driver of the other car or cars and ask them if they are alright.
If there are any injuries, even minor, then call 911 and request an ambulance. Even a minor seeming injury can turn out to be much worse if there are internal injuries that go unnoticed at first.
You may want to get looked at by a professional to make sure that you are actually uninjured or to cover you in case there is an injury that comes up later. An injury may reveal itself later on and if you haven’t been checked at the time of the accident then you may not be eligible for any damages as a result since you won’t be able to prove that the injury happened during that accident.
Before you start to exchange information like license or insurance, you should call the police to come and make a report. After you call, see if there were any witnesses that can stick around to talk to the police. If they can’t then get their contact information to give to the police and your insurance company.
The police will come and make sure that everybody is ok and that the road is not being blocked for other drivers. In fact, for safety make sure that you do all of this from a safe place off of the street where the accident occurred.
The more information that insurance companies have about the accident then the better your case will be when this needs to be resolved. Besides taking the other driver’s information, make sure to also ask the police who have come what their names and badge numbers are. And if there is an EMT then also ask them their names and company that they work for.
Take a lot of pictures of the accident itself, with the license plate numbers visible. The intersection where it happened should be photographed so it can be reconstructed and also any identifying landmarks should be visible. If you think you may have some fault then take pictures of anything on the road that may have contributed to the accident like potholes or debris.
Arm yourself with all the documents from the doctor visit including any injuries that happened to you, plus the damage to the vehicle and ask your insurance company if they will be handling the claim against the other driver. If you provide them with enough information then they may file the claim themselves. There may be a case in which you actually have to file on your own, however.
How the claim will go depends on the state where you live and where the accident happened. If it is a no fault state then you will be required to have personal injury protection from your own insurance. You can sue for other damages later, but you aren’t covered automatically. There are at fault states in which the insurance company of the responsible driver will pay out any claims.
*This is not financial or legal advice. Remember to do your own research and speak to a professional advisor before parting with any money.