7 Things To Do After A Minor Car Accident
The trauma and heightened emotions from a car accident can limit your ability to make informed decisions.
However, certain mistakes can be costly. These mistakes will prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve from either your insurance company or the other driver.
Your inability to make informed decisions could also put the other passengers at greater risk. Accidents can happen at any time, meaning that you should be prepared to make the right decisions.
This article will discuss essential steps to take after a car accident.
1. Keep accurate records of the accident
Detailed records management will keep you protected if you get a call from the other driver indicating the start of a lawsuit.
Even though you think the storm has blown over and the accident might never come up again, it wouldn’t hurt to be extra cautious. Ensure you keep all police reports, medical records, invoices from your motor vehicle repair, and photos you took of the scene of the accident.
You could also keep a personal journal that records emotional and mental effects that are hard to quantify. You might likely receive compensation for any trauma and mental health-related issues that the other driver caused you during the accident.
2. Ensure all the passengers are safe
Immediately after the accident, if you can get out of the vehicle, exit and make sure everyone is safe.
We also recommend turning on your emergency flasher to alert other drivers to come to your aid. It would be best to set up emergency flares to let others know you require urgent attention.
Call 911 if anyone is badly hurt to dispatch an ambulance as soon as possible. Even though the injuries are minor, you will still need to call the police to get a police statement. Your safety and other passengers are more important than any mechanical and financial considerations.
3. Inspect the scene of the accident
Ensure you stay at the scene of the accident and take inventory of everything that took place.
It would also be best to take important steps to protect your rights and safeguard your chances of receiving compensation.
Capture as many pictures as you can of the vehicles and the debris at the accident scene. We recommend that you only move the cars if it is safe.
It would also be best to not admit being in the wrong. The insurance company may refuse to compensate you or you end up in court.
The best course of action would be to express concern without admitting you were at fault and ensure everyone gets medical attention.
4. Determine the available insurance coverage
You need to exchange insurance information with the other driver involved in the accident. If the other driver does not have insurance, ensure you obtain valid contact information. This includes name, phone number, address, and insurance policy number.
This vital information might come in handy if you need to make an insurance claim in the future. The available auto insurance coverage will depend on who was wrong and the type of insurance each driver maintained before the accident.
In a scenario where you were not at fault, the other driver’s insurance should cover damage to your car and the medical expenses of anyone involved in the accident.
Your insurance should cover rental expenses should you need to hire a car, personal injury protection, and property damage.
5. Reach out to a car accident attorney
Your car accident attorney is one of the most important calls you need to make after an accident.
Most insurance companies are looking to pay the least amount possible. However, an attorney has your best interests at heart and will fight to protect your rights.
A qualified car attorney could also help fight for your rights if injuries or repercussions pop up in the future. It would be best to source for an accident attorney in your area as you might need to visit their office several times before your problem is solved.
For instance, if you are in Texas and don’t have a car accident attorney, you can reach out to a car accident lawyer at Rodriguez Law Firm. They will provide you with the professional resources to get the compensation you deserve.
Ensure you select a reputable car attorney with a long list of credentials, good interpersonal skills, and one who specializes in car accident cases. It would be best to go into your consultation with realistic expectations and ask pertinent questions.
6. Contact the insurance company
It would be best to call your insurance company as soon as you take inventory of everything that happened at the accident scene. Avoid waiting until the other driver’s insurance provider calls you to make an insurance claim.
Be the first one to call and provide all the pertinent details so that your insurance company can build a claim in your favor. Failure to call your insurance provider could result in a denial of compensation and lack of protection should your case get to court.
We also recommend calling your insurance company even if you were involved in a minor accident. Reporting minor accidents will guarantee you will be compensated if you start experiencing injuries that you were unaware of when the accident happened.
7. Go for a full physical examination
Resist the urge to skip a medical evaluation even though you feel fine after a minor accident.
Most injuries after a car accident take time to manifest. During the accident, your body also enters in a state of fight-or-flight. This makes the pain from an injury unnoticeable until the danger is over.
Therefore, you will not be granted compensation if you have no proof of having gone for a medical evaluation after the accident occurred.
If the other driver offers you a quick settlement, wait until you have talked to your attorney and undergone a complete physical examination.
Once you accept the payment and agree to sign the release, you will no longer be able to pursue the insurance company for additional compensation. After everything is said and done, you can now get your car fixed.