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In the United States, over six million car accidents occur every year. Luckily, most car accidents involve only property damage: damage to the vehicle as opposed to the occupants. However, one in three car crashes causes personal injury to the driver or passengers, and out of that, two out of every ten accidents cause fatal injuries. Regardless of how serious an accident is, knowing what to do after an accident can make a significant difference.
If you’re involved in an accident, here is what to do after a car accident.
Immediately after the accident happens, if possible, stop at the scene of the accident. If possible, pull over to a safe area away from the other traffic. And if your car isn’t too damaged, turn on your hazard lights.
Legally, you’re required to stop when an accident occurs, thus this step is a must-do at the scene of an accident.
Check and make sure you and others around are okay. Call for an ambulance and help anyone injured at the scene of the accident. Don’t try to move anyone who is badly injured unless there’s a greater risk of leaving them unattended.
Call 911 or the police and report the accident. If the accident is serious and you or other passengers have suffered injuries, call 911. Tell them the extent of the injuries and the location of the accident.
Whether the accident is a minor fender-bender or a major collision; it’s crucial to call the police and report the accident. The responding officer will fill out an accident report and the necessary documents at the scene. If the police can’t come to the scene, go to the nearest police station and report the accident, according to the III. If you file a claim with your insurance company, they may ask for a copy of the police report to help with the claim process.
Gathering evidence is crucial, especially if you plan to file an insurance claim later. After calling 911 and the police, then record evidence. The more information you gather, the stronger your claim will be. Record the name, contact number, address, and driver’s license number of all parties involved in the accident. Also, record information about the cars involved in the accident, including their registration number, color, and model.
Further, record information about witnesses who saw the accident. Ask for their name and phone number. They may come in handy later.
Using your smartphone, take photographic evidence. Take photos of the cars involved in the crash and the scene of the accident before conditions change. Take a photo of the damage to your vehicle; this may be helpful when filing an auto insurance claim.
Note if there are cameras that may have recorded the crash. Video evidence of the crash scene is very helpful in proving insurance claims. Further, note the weather and the conditions of the road and take photos if there are any dangerous hazards, such as oil spills, which may have caused the accident.
Here’s a list of things to record about the car accident or collision:
Don’t leave the scene of the automobile accident, even if you collide with something like a pole or an unattended vehicle. If you hit an unattended vehicle, wait until the owner of the car arrives. If you can’t wait, then leave a note with your name and contact information.
After recording all the details about the auto accident, call your insurance company and notify them about the accident. Answer all their questions and provide them with the details you gathered. Be truthful and don’t misrepresent the facts. Lying to your insurer will only make your insurance claim weak. Remember, if the details you provide don’t match those gathered by the insurance agent, the insurance company will reject your claim. Seek legal advice from an experienced car accident attorney if you’re unsure about what to say to the insurance company when filing a claim.
When communicating with third-party insurance companies third-party claim:
At the scene of the crash or collision, with emotions running high, you may feel concerned about the other party and think the accident was your fault. Don’t let your emotions control your actions. Stay strong and don’t accept it was your fault, even if it’s obvious that your actions caused the accident. Don’t discuss the accident or collision with any parties involved.
Every car accident is unique, so you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The insurance company won’t wait to start its lawsuit against you, so don’t wait either.
If you have been involved in an auto accident, you may seek compensation from the at-fault driver for damage to your car, lost personal belongings, and more.
Car-related property damage claims may include:
Also, you can claim for lost or damaged personal property, including:
You may file a claim for any property you can prove was lost or damaged in the accident.
After being injured in a car accident, you may not know what to do next and whether you should go forward on your own. You may need to file an insurance claim, however, if this is your first time, you might not know your rights or how to file an insurance claim. This is a reason to contact a car accident attorney. An experienced attorney can help you file an insurance claim.
Hiring a car accident lawyer helps to:
After sustaining injuries in a car crash, you may think you can handle everything by yourself. You might try to deal with the insurance company as best as you can. However, hiring an attorney can save time and money.
Having experienced Chicago accident attorneys by your side makes sure you aren’t taken advantage of. An attorney can guide you through the insurance claims or litigation process. It increases the chances of receiving an insurance settlement or court award, which is higher than if you worked without a lawyer.
To discuss how we can help you after a car accident, call Ktenas Injury Lawyers at (312) 300-2515 and set up a free consultation.