It can happen anywhere at anytime, you are in your car and then you are hit and involved in an accident. This is a scene that is repeated all over the country every year. The problem is that many people do not know what to do if they are involved in an accident. Beyond the actual common sense things, most people are clueless about how to handle being involved in an accident. The accident itself has you ‘off’ and not thinking about things you might usually do, this is why you need to just slow down and take things one step at a time. Knowing what to do and not to do will help you in the long run to not make any innocent mistakes.
First, document the scene.
If you are unhurt and able to move without injury to yourself, then for your records, make sure you take pictures and write down the details before people move anything and such. This is one area that many people will make a mistake as they will assume that they will have time to do all of this and then people move things and such and the person winds up being looked at as being at fault and forced to pay the damages with their insurance. Get information as soon as you can when getting in an accident to have documentation for later.
Call the police.
Chances are that the person that caused the accident will not want to willingly call the cops, so it is your job to do this so that they can come out and take a report of the accident. This will also lead to any charges that need to be filed being done. It is vital that you get a copy of this as you will need it for your insurance as well as the court case should there ever be a need for one.
It is important that you gather statements from as many witnesses as you can.
This will help you should you have to go to court. As many of these as you can you need to gather. This will help to ensure that you have people that will testify as to what they saw happen. This can be all the difference in the world between winning a case and losing a case. This is something that many people will overlook if they are not careful. The police will also want to have these statements as it will help them to determine exactly what happened and who if anybody needs to be charged.
Get the other persons insurance information as well as give them yours.
This is a common sense move, but again things tend to be a little out of control with emotions and you may overlook this simple piece of advice. This will help to make sure that if you need to file a claim, that you can with their insurance and that the same goes for the other person. If the person has no insurance, you can still get your car repaired if you have uninsured driver coverage. If you were smart, then you got this for your cars to avoid being screwed if they do not have coverage.
It is important that you get seen by a doctor as soon as possible.
The sooner that you seek medical attention, then the better that your chances will be if you have to file a claim. Make sure that the doctor that you go to is qualified to spot any injuries that may go unnoticed by an untrained eye. A little preventive care will help you to not suffer any extra injuries from the accident than what was already incurred. Make sure that you keep the doctors report in the paperwork that you will need for the court case should there be a need to file one. All of this will help you to cover any areas that you may get a less than favorable outcome from.
Talk to your attorney to see if there are any grounds for a lawsuit being filed from either party.
See if the one that hit you has grounds for filing a lawsuit and see if you have good reasons for filing a suit as well. Your attorney will be able to walk you through the process and help you to determine if there are areas that you have a lawsuit on. It is important that your attorney has all of the information so that they will know what is going on and will not just think that you have a lawsuit and then quickly discover that in fact there is no grounds and makes both of you seem like a moron. The only reason you would want to file a case is if you are injured and the other person is not wanting to do what is right and pay for your medical bills.
Above all else, make sure that you file an insurance claim.
This will be vital in getting your car repaired. If the claim goes too long without being filed, then the insurance may try to claim that you incurred damage that was not associated with the accident. Many people will file a claim almost as soon as the accident happens. This gets the ball rolling and helps them to get the claim process that much faster as the adjuster will be able to view the damage and see if the car is able to be repaired of does it have to be totaled and them just cut you a check for a new vehicle.
These are the things that you need to keep in mind when you have an accident. The more prepared that you are for this event, then the less that it will take you by surprise and leave you without a course of action that you can take and get you back on the road in a fast and orderly manner. Just because you had an accident, does not mean that your life as you know it is over, just move on and try to get things back to normal.