If you’re in a car accident and you have insurance, you will want to file a claim afterwards. That’s a logical thing to do, and it’s a way to get some money to fix your vehicle, pay for medical bills, and perhaps cover income loss while you’re recuperating from your injuries.
There are steps you should take, in order, if you’re in this position. We’ll run through each of them in the following article.
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Take Stock Of Your Situation:
This is not one of the four steps you should take. Instead, it’s a preamble to them. The first thing you’ll want to do is take stock of your mental and physical state after the accident.
Car accidents can be very traumatic for anyone who experiences one. Before filing a car accident claim, you’ll want to assess whether the accident injured you and get the proper medical attention accordingly.
You will also want to assess your mental state. Even if you walked away without a scratch, you might have PTSD from the accident. Many people feel anxious after a crash, and some are reluctant to drive again for quite a while afterwards.
Call The Police:
Calling the police is the first logical step you can take after a crash once you have dealt with your injuries. The police will need to file an accident report. You might be able to use that report later when you reach out to your insurance company, and you might even need it if you decide to bring a lawsuit against another driver who you feel caused the crash.
You’ll also want police involvement because the other party might act aggressively at the crash site. They might feel like you caused the wreck, and they may curse at you or even threaten physical violence. After car accidents, everyone’s adrenaline is up, so this sort of thing is not uncommon.
Don’t leave the crash site until you’re sure the police got all the information they needed. That will include your name, license plate number, and driver’s license number.
Beyond that, you should tell them what happened, and you should not lie or embellish. Stick to the facts and attempt to tell the responding officers every detail that seems essential, omitting nothing that might matter later.
File A Report If Your State Requires It:
You will need to file an accident report if your state makes you do that. Each state has rules in this area, so you’ll need to determine the proper action at this point.
If you don’t file a report with the appropriate governing body, they might find you, and you don’t want to skip steps or do anything out of the ordinary. Deviating from established procedures can only hurt you at this juncture. If you want to get the money back to compensate you for your medical bills and everything else we mentioned, you’ll want to play by the rules during this difficult time.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Reaching out to your insurance provider will be your next step. You should have all their contact information, but if you don’t have it handy, you can find it online.
You should carry your insurance company’s information with you when you take your car out on the road, though. You might have their card in your wallet or purse, but most insurance companies have an app these days you can download to your smartphone. That’s a much simpler way to keep their information with you, and you can use that app to call them if you’re ever in an accident.
You will tell your insurance company what happened, just like you did with the police. Again, you will want to give them a factual accounting of what occurred, omitting no details.
You should avoid speculating about whether you caused the accident or the other person did. The facts can speak for themselves. It’s never going to help you if you volunteer the information that you caused the accident, and you should not apologize when talking to your insurance provider, either.
Hire A Lawyer Who Can Help You:
You should contact a car crash attorney next. The attorney you speak to might not deal exclusively with car wreck cases, but they should know all about the law in this area and have prior experience.
You can expect to get money from your car accident claim if that’s appropriate according to what happened. If you are in a state where you have no-fault coverage, for instance, you can depend on receiving that money to help cover the various costs we mentioned.
However, the amount you get back from your insurance company might not be enough to cover your medical bills, pain and suffering, etc. Your insurance company also may decide to reject your claim for some reason.
Reaching out to a lawyer can help you at this point. Your attorney can either assist you in going after your insurance company if they won’t pay you, or they can help you to bring a lawsuit against the other driver if they caused the accident and you want to sue them. Your attorney might even help you in both these areas.
You should not neglect any of the steps we mentioned. They’re all fundamental parts of what your agenda should be following a car wreck.
It could turn out that your insurance provider gives you ample money to cover your bills and any incidentals. You may feel like you don’t need to sue the other driver or any other entity.
That’s the best situation you can hope for, but it’s not always that simple. Insurance companies often try to keep from paying you in some way, as they are for-profit companies.
You might also feel like the other driver caused the wreck by speeding or if something distracted them. These reasons are why contacting a lawyer might be the most vital thing you can after a crash, apart from filing an insurance claim.