Getting involved in a car accident is something nobody wishes to experience. However, it is hard to stop all the accidents occurring. Accidents are classified in various categories depending on the extent of damage caused. The classification ranges from mild accidents to fatal accidents. Fatal accidents are those in which life is lost while mild accidents lead to minor injuries or little damage to the vehicle. When one gets involved in an accident, it is normal that they might be in a state of shock. Here are the steps to be followed when one is involved in a mild car accident.
Check for Injuries
Once you get involved in an accident, the first thing to be done is to check for injuries. The impact of the accident on the health of those involved in the accident affects the financial considerations of the insurance claim. Immediately after the accident occurs, you need to ask if every occupant of the vehicle is okay. If anyone has sustained a head injury, you should call for medical assistance immediately. When an occupant of the car is unable to talk or move, they should not be moved. The inability to speak or move is an indication of a possible spinal injury. Moving them would worsen their condition. Therefore, you should wait for the paramedics to arrive.
Once you have established the safety of the occupants of the vehicle, step out and turn on the hazard lights. If you have flares, set them up around the scene to alert other motorists about the accident. This prevents the occurrence of another accident at the same scene. If the occupants of the vehicle don’t need urgent medical attention, call the police. If the accident is minor, call the non-emergency police hotline.
Assess the Accident Scene And Exchange Information
Once you have ensured everyone is safe, you need to assess the extent of the damage. While taking inventory of the accident, you should have the necessary measures to protect your rights in mind. Take pictures of both vehicles at the exact spot of the accident before moving them to safety. You should be careful when moving the cars to avoid further damage. While doing this, never admit being wrong or apologize for what happened. Although it might seem impolite, acknowledging that you are guilty of the accident could affect your defense if the matter goes before the court.
Once you have collected enough information and successfully moved the vehicles. You should exchange contact and auto insurance information with the other driver. If you are the only driver involved in the accident, you should call your insurance company right away. Exchanging insurance information with the other driver is important when filing claims related to the accident. If the other driver doesn’t have an insurance cover, you should get all the vital information about them. The essential information includes their name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, car registration number, and model as well as the police report number.
Other additional information you need is the details of the police officer who responded to the accident. Once you have all the necessary information, you can then proceed with legal action.
Determine the Available Car Insurance Coverage
The insurance coverage you are entitled to after an accident depends on who was at fault. Another factor that determines the kind of coverage is the type of insurance cover each of you maintained. If the accident is not your fault, the other driver’s insurance will cover the damages caused. For instance, the other driver’s insurance will cover all the property damage to your car and other property up to the driver’s policy limit. If you or any other occupants of the vehicle are injured, the other driver’s insurance will cover all medical bills up to the driver’s limit.
If you are the driver at fault, your insurance will cover a lot more depending on the regulations of the state in which the accident occurred. In some states, your insurance would cover personal injury protection (PIP). PIP comes into play regardless of the driver at fault and covers up to lost wages in case the sustained injuries affect someone’s productivity. The uninsured or underinsured policy would cover your property damages and medical bills if the other driver doesn’t have sufficient insurance. If your car is totally damaged, your insurance might cover car rental charges if you depend on your vehicle to earn a living.
Call Your Insurance Company
Once you have gathered all the information and established the available coverage, you need to call your insurance company. You need to call in first and report the accident before the other driver, or their insurance company files a claim. Letting your insurance company know about the accident allows them to start building your compensation claim. Contacting your insurance company within a reasonable time after the accident has occurred is a form of protection. In some cases, calling the insurance company after an accident, including minor ones, is part of the contract. Failure to do so puts your chances of getting compensated at risk. The insurance company might send an agent to assess the scene of the accident and establish its authenticity.
Call Your Attorney
After calling the insurance company, you need to call your attorney and tell them all the details of the accident. The attorney will help you in following up with the insurance claim until you succeed. Also, having an attorney prepares you in case any lawsuits arise as a result of the accident. Having a knowledgeable attorney places you at a higher chance of getting compensated. In some cases, an attorney with good experience in insurance will help you find the most affordable auto insurance.
Seek Medical Attention
After establishing contact with your attorney, you need to seek medical attention. Some injuries sustained after an accident might not be felt immediately. This places you at risk if you ignore medication even after a mild accident. You can visit a general orthopedics specialist for checkups who recommend you for medication or determine if you are well enough to go home. If you have suffered a dislocation, you can find a chiropractor in South Austin who will help you recover.
Although insurance companies cover accidents, they might affect a life completely. In some cases, accidents have led to the loss of life, which can never be compensated. Some people have been rendered unproductive as a result of car accidents. Therefore, responsible driving is encouraged to minimize loss of lives and other extensive damages that come with recklessness.
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