No one begins their day looking forward to getting involved in a car accident. However, if you have a car, there are chances that you might get involved in an accident. If you get in a car accident, follow these five steps.
1. Immediately Report the Accident to Law Enforcement
It is necessary to report the accident to law enforcement, as failing to do so could result in criminal charges. The officers are required to fill out a police report, and in this case, you must be truthful and provide the information you have available. Ensure the police have the relevant insurance information for all the parties involved in the accident. The officers must get everyone’s name and contact information. Also, try to get the officer’s name and badge numbers, especially when writing the report.
2. Look Into Your Legal Rights
Many laws protect drivers in accidents, such as PIP (personal injury protection) laws and no-fault insurance regulations. Read up on these laws to know your legal rights regarding the accident and if you have any obligations concerning the incident.
Your attorney will also be of use if you get into an accident. The attorney understands the steps you ought to take and the possible outcome. Finding a Houston personal injury law firm to represent you is the best alternative if you live around or near Houston. Provide a copy of the report to the law firm. Give every detail before, during, and after the accident.
3. Contact Your Insurance Company
If you have a car insurance policy, you must file a claim. Do not see the accident as a personal defeat, and do not try to fix your vehicle by yourself. Give all the details of the accident and its cause to the claims representative and attach any relevant documents. Your insurance company will handle the process of obtaining repairs for your car or medical treatment.
It would also be essential to contact your attorney before reaching out to your insurance company. Some insurance companies may give you a hard time during your claim and use any misinformation to reject your claim. Involving your attorney will protect you from such incidents as they will ensure everything is done as required.
4. Take Pictures Documenting the Accident Scene
If you have a camera, take pictures of the scene, which is the best evidence possible. It would help if you also tried using video footage to prove the accident. You can have the surveillance video footage copied by your attorney to be used when you make a claim. Pictures offer a clear understanding of the extent of the accident and may also give a clue on which party is at fault.
5. Take Contact Information for Eyewitnesses
If other vehicles are involved in the accident, such as the other car’s driver and passengers, you should also get their names and contact information. Also, ask for any eyewitnesses’ contact information. These could be pedestrians or other drivers that witnessed the accident as it happened. Witnesses can be very helpful after an accident as they provide reliable statements about what happened.
More Steps To Take
Visit a Doctor
If you have any injuries, it’s best to visit a doctor. The doctor can give you a medical estimate of the extent of injuries and recommend treatment. You also have legal options if another driver’s negligence injured you. Also, you must still visit a doctor even if you are uninjured, as it could be treated as a preventative measure. The doctor will examine you and determine if you are indeed fit to resume daily activities.
Avoid Quick Settlements
It’s recommended that you don’t take for any quick settlement. If you have suffered injuries, it’s best to get proper treatment from a doctor. You might need special assistance or rehabilitation, and you should also ask for compensation to cover medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and emotional distress. It’s best to start negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company while your injuries are still fresh in your mind and before they fade away with time.
Car accidents can happen for many reasons, but the aftermath is stressful and confusing. However, you can ensure that you have done your part and that you are not a victim of someone else’s negligence. The above steps should help you get out of the situation with minimum cost and headache.