Car accidents happen every day in every city and every state across the United States, and if you have ever been in one, you know the stress associated with them. Sometimes, individuals face serious injuries, but even in minor accidents, you may receive a ticket and neck pain or back pain. It is important to always respond to your accident correctly, however, so that you do not face worse injuries and receive the compensation you deserve. Follow the five steps below to ensure that you know what to do the next time that you get into a car accident.
1 Seek Medical Care
The first and most important step to take after an automobile accident is to seek the medical care that you need, even if you do not think the accident was serious. There may be underlying concerns that you would not have even known existed had you not sought the care you needed. If you decide to file a case or a report for your injuries, you also need a doctor's records to prove that you have an accurate diagnosis. In either case, the sooner that you receive care, the better that you will feel in the long run as the medical professionals will be able to serve you better.
2 Exchange Information
Make sure that at some point before you leave for the hospital or doctor's office, that you exchange information with the other driver. Make sure that you have each other's insurance information and that you receive the contact information of any other party that was in the accident too. Make sure that you give the same information to the other person as well so that everyone is on the same page. Finally, seek out to obtain the driver's license number and even the license plate number if you believe that it will help the police officers.
3 Be Honest with Police
When the police arrive, make sure you are honest with them about exactly what happened. They will obtain information from both parties to better understand who is at fault for the crash so that a ticket can be given if necessary. The insurance companies will also require the police records so that they can understand how to compensate you or the other party for any damages. If you wonder how to get an accident report online, you can visit essential websites to download them after the police have completed the documentation needed.
4 Take as Many Photos as Possible
Take photos of any of your injuries, of your vehicle, of the other vehicle, and even of the crash site. If there was property damage to a building or to any other type of property, make sure to take photos of the damages too. If the police are having a hard time determining fault, and your insurance is falsely reporting fault, these photos can prove to be a valuable piece of evidence. If the other party sues you for any reason, you can also use these photos in court.
5 File an Insurance Claim
As mentioned, the insurance company will determine who is at fault based on the police report and the claim information to determine how they compensate you. If you only have liability coverage and are at fault, the insurance company will only pay the other party in the accident. If you have full coverage or are not at fault, your insurance company will pay you no matter what. Make sure you receive the compensation you deserve, however, so that your insurance holder does not try to minimize the damage that was done during the car wreck.
Automobile accidents are stressful situations, and it can be difficult to not become overwhelmed by emotion when you have been in one. Ensure that you remain at the wreck until the police have received your statement and you have exchanged information with the other driver if you are not too injured. Right after the accident, be sure to seek out the medical care necessary in case you have underlying injuries. Finally, do file an honest claim with your insurance company so that they can know how to compensate you or the other driver involved.