It’s tough to know what to do after a car accident, especially if you don’t have much experience behind the wheel. Unfortunately, any mistakes you make could have serious financial repercussions. You may be found at fault for an accident despite the other driver causing it, or have a medical claim denied. That’s why you need to do these four things any time you’re in a car accident.
Gather Any Evidence You Can
Even if the accident was clearly the other driver’s fault, don’t assume their insurance will see it that way. The other insurance company will want to minimize their driver’s fault if possible.
Take pictures of the scene and talk to any potential witnesses in the area. Call the police so that they can come make a police report. Every piece of evidence in your favor helps you build a stronger claim.
Seek Medical Attention
You may feel fine and think that it’s unnecessary to see a doctor, but not every injury shows symptoms right away. Although it shouldn’t matter when you seek medical attention for car accident injuries, it does. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that the other insurance company tries to deny your medical claim by saying the accident wasn’t the cause.
Ideally, you should go to the hospital immediately after the crash. If you don’t, make an appointment with your doctor within the next few days.
Don’t talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance
The other driver’s insurance adjuster may contact you asking for a recorded statement. The adjuster’s goal is to minimize how much his company pays out. He’ll look for anything you said that he can use against you, making a recorded statement a no-win situation. You’re under no legal obligation to provide this, and it’s in your best interest not to do it. It is, however, a good idea to take down the other driver’s insurance information. This can help you resolve any issues quicker, especially if you were not at-fault for the accident.
You are also not under any obligation to provide a statement to the police who arrive on scene. Many people don’t know this and unwittingly provide details to the police officer that could be used against them when the insurance companies go to battle it out. Unless you are absolutely certain that the accident was the fault of the other driver, it’s probably best not to provide a statement of any kind until you’ve had a chance to speak with your insurance provider.
File a Claim with an Attorney
It’s not always easy dealing with an insurance company. They could drag their feet and fight you every step of the way. In situations like these, your best move is to file an auto accident claim with an attorney like the Alexander Law Group or someone similar.
When there’s the possibility of a lawsuit, that’s usually just the motivation an insurance company needs to speed things up. Your attorney can also advise you on what to do to get the best results with your claim and avoid giving up your rights by mistake.
A car accident is inconvenient enough. Don’t let it turn into a financial nightmare that leaves you with higher insurance premiums for years to come. Do those four things after an accident for the best chance at getting the situation resolved in your favor.