Steps To Take After an Auto Accident

Being involved in an automobile accident can be a terrifying and oftentimes painful situation. Even if you aren’t physically hurt, the entire scenario itself can be painful for many reasons. First of all, you’ll have to deal with getting your car fixed and depending on who was at fault, potentially getting the other person’s car fixed as well. In addition, the logistics involved may mean you have to take some time off work to deal with auto body repairs or even medical situations if in fact you were injured. Finally, one of the most painful aspects of having an auto accident for many people is dealing with the insurance company.

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Auto insurance exists to help pay for incidents that occur in our lives but that doesn’t mean the process is not a flawed one. It can often take months and sometimes years to fully settle an auto insurance claim and the process can be downright maddening if it doesn’t go as smoothly as planned. There are some things that you can do, however, to help make the process move along as smoothly as possible. Let’s look at some steps that you can take following an auto accident to make sure that all of your bases are covered and that you comply with your insurance policies contract.

1. Don’t admit fault-Even if it is very obvious that you’re at fault for an accident never admit so at the scene. Oftentimes, there are other circumstances involved in the accident that you weren’t even aware of and by simply admitting that you are at fault you may give up your rights to any future compensation or shared liability on behalf of the insurance companies.

2. Call the police-Having a police officer on the scene will help to lessen the potential that any arguments get out of hand and that the proper information is shared between the parties. Don’t be surprised if because no one was injured they decide not to send an officer, but it still can’t hurt to give it a try.

3. Exchange information-It is important that both parties exchange information at the scene of the accident to help expedite the ensuing claim and verify insurance coverage by both parties. No matter who is at fault, it is important that both parties give the other their complete info as fault will not be determined at the scene and occasionally shared liability exists. Here is a quick list of what information to obtain at the scene of an accident:
a. full name and complete address including phone number
b. year, make, model of vehicle
c. drivers license number
d. name and phone number of insurance company
e. insurance policy number
f. name of the owner of the vehicle if it was not the person driving

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4. Call the insurance company-it is not necessarily required that you contact the insurance company at the scene of the accident but it can help you get through the situation if you’re unsure about how to proceed. You do want to contact the insurance company as soon as possible after the accident so that they are made aware of the potential for the claim and can begin preparing paperwork to file if necessary.

5. Snap some pictures-again, taking pictures at the scene of an automobile accident is not required but it can help to be proof of what exactly occurred and may be helpful to the insurance company or even the court system if the claim progresses that far.

6. Seek medical attention-Now, if there is no mistake that you were injured then one of the first steps on our list would be to go to the hospital but I’m sure that’s probably an obvious one. What can and often does occur after an accident within a day or two is for the body to begin to feel soreness and stiffness because of the impact. This may be signs of whiplash or even potentially something more serious. If you are feeling pains of any kind it is wise to visit a doctor to have a complete examination. The expenses of this medical treatment may be covered by the other person’s policy or your own depending on the particular scenario.
The fact is, most of us will be involved in at least one accident during the course of our driving lifetime. If you follow the steps above and make sure to do your due diligence in the event of an automobile accident, you can help to make it much less stressful and progress much more efficiently which will usually lead to a more favorable outcome to all parties involved.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 at 7:15 pm and is filed under article. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Steps To Take After an Auto Accident”

  1. whiplash says:

    Just so people know, when you settle you are generally giving away your right to ask for more money.

  2. Car Accident Claim says:

    Hiya. having suffering from a car accident recently i have been having constant back problems i have no idea if it is ehtical for me to claim from my injury as it would cause me so much guilt. any thoughts on this?

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