Even if it’s not your fault, dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is never fun or easy. After a crash, you’re forced to deal with insurance companies and massive amounts of paperwork just to ensure you aren’t penalized for something that’s not your fault. The following five suggestions will help make dealing with the car accident process easier.
1. Gather As Much Information As Possible
Information is your best friend after an accident. The more information you have, the easier it is to prove your side of the story. Gathering information is a proactive step you can take to make the car accident process go smoother.
At a minimum, you need to get the other driver’s name, address, and insurance company. Getting pictures of the accident is especially important if the accident wasn’t your fault. It’s also worthwhile to spend some time looking for witnesses in the area.
After getting the information, take the time to contact the other driver’s insurance company and alert them to the situation. Most people at fault are reluctant to report accidents, which delays the process. Being proactive with the claim process helps your side of the story.
2. Contact A Car Accident Lawyer
Working with a car accident lawyer is an excellent way to make the best out of a bad situation. Car accident lawyers are intimately familiar with the legal nuances that affect car accidents and will help protect your rights. Your lawyer will take the time to ensure you fully understand your options so you can make informed decisions.
Car accident lawyers are also useful for handling your paperwork. One mistake with paperwork can cause considerable delays in the process. There are also many deadlines associated with paperwork submissions, which makes a professional approach important. Car accident lawyers can help relieve a lot of stress that comes with dealing with the fall out of a car accident.
3. Contact A Doctor
Seeing a certified medical professional after your accident is a crucial step in gathering evidence. Going to the doctor provides you with documented medical evidence that you tried to get treatment for injuries caused by the accident. This information is absolutely essential if the other driver accuses you of exaggerating your injuries.
The sooner you see a doctor the better. Doctors can provide you with referrals to rehabilitation centers which can significantly improve your recovery. Waiting to seek treatment often causes your injury to get worse.
Even if you don’t have any obvious injuries, it’s still important to see a doctor. Injuries such as internal bleeding, concussions, and soft tissue injuries can be harder to detect, and you may not start showing symptoms until days later. It’s important to get all injuries caused by the car accident dealt with as soon as possible.
4. Stay Calm And Don’t Admit Fault
It’s important not to say anything that can be used against you at the accident scene. It may be difficult to stay calm if the other driver is aggressive towards you, however, diffusing the situation is best for everyone involved. Although what happened may seem obvious to you, it may not be the same to the other person.
If you give a statement to the police at the scene, just stick to the facts. Don’t make any statements that can be interpreted as you admitting fault. Both statements will be used by the insurance adjusters to make a decision on the damages.
One common mistake people make is trying to negotiate with the other driver at the scene. Negotiating outside of legal parameters puts you at risk of having a claim filed against you later on. People in these situations also often find out the damage was more severe than they thought at the scene.