Steps to Take After a Car Accident
It can be hard to know what to do after a car accident. Car accidents can be incredibly scary to all parties involved. Whether they be simple fender benders or more severe accidents, no one wants to be involved in an accident. It is good to know how to get back on track after a car accident. There are some steps you should take no matter the severity of the accident.
1. Take Care of Yourself (Medical Care)
When you are in a car accident, it may seem like your whole world is turned upside down. Directly after the accident, you may be confused or stunned, which can make it hard to know what to do next. You may also feel anger or guilt. It’s time to take care of yourself. It’s okay to prioritize and address your needs. Effective personal care not only helps you but also puts you in a position to help others.
When You Should Visit a Doctor
Anyone who has been in any kind of accident should visit a doctor. This option might be considered safer than sorry, but it’s important to rule out serious injuries. Plus, you need to document what injuries you have. Speeds can cause serious damage both internally and externally. Failing to have your injuries treated can make them more severe and prevent you from getting the compensation that you deserve. If you are the least bit concerned, go see the doctor! The best advice is common sense.
2. Take Care of Your Car
After you have taken care of yourself, it is important to take care of your car. Getting it to the appropriate mechanic is important. The quicker you can evaluate the damage to your car, the quicker you can bring your legal claim and arrange to get back on the road. Get a damage estimate and determine the best course of action. Be sure to carefully examine your insurance policy for deductibles. If your car is totaled, your insurance company may pay you the current value of the car rather than the replacement value or original cost of purchase.
If Your Car Is Totaled
Totaled cars happen more often than you think. A car is totaled if the cost to fix the car amounts to more than 51% of the value of the car. A mechanic or auto-adjuster makes the estimate of the damages. Unfortunately, the simplest accident can total a car if it hits a certain area–such as the engine. After a car is totaled, you may have different options to get back on the road depending on whether you own or lease the car and the type of car insurance coverage you have.
3. Take Care of Your Finances and Claims
An accident can put a huge strain on your finances. If you are injured, you might also be temporarily out of work, and paying your bills could be difficult. That can make it hard to be patient during your legal claim. Claims can also be stressful due to the back and forth arguments that can commence between insurance companies. Knowing how to pursue your claim can ultimately help your finances and get you back on track.
What to Expect Financially After an Accident
After an accident, your insurance company should go to work for you with the other individual’s insurance company. If you disagree with the decision reached by your insurance company, you may pursue appeals and ultimately file a legal claim. It’s important to keep accurate records of your financial losses because of the accident. These losses form the basis of your claim. You may pursue legal recourse in order to receive the compensation that you are due under the law.
4. File A Car Accident Claim
You need to be proactive in filing an insurance claim through your insurance company after a car accident. Most insurance companies provide online reporting and toll-free numbers that you may use right after your accident. When you file your claim, you need some information to provide to the insurance company, including the:
- Policy Number
- Date of Accident
- Location and description of the accident
- Personal address and license plate number
- Police department information and report number
- The other individual’s auto insurance
You shouldn’t have to provide any money upfront—after all, you have been paying for insurance for the majority of the time. Make sure they do their job to serve you. When talking to your insurance company, never admit fault. Remember, you may seek a personal injury attorney to help you through this process.
5. Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, do not hesitate to contact us at Christensen & Hymas for a free, confidential consultation. Our competent car accident lawyers seek to provide you with the best options during your trying time. Call us at 801-506-0800.