My Car Quest

June 17, 2024

What to do When You’ve Been in a Car Accident

There’s a lot that goes into picking up the pieces. You’re disoriented, hundred, and unsure of where to go or what to reach for next. There’s information pouring from every corner and people asking you questions that you don’t have the answers to.
You’re caught in a riptide, and you haven’t learned how to swim.

Getting injured during a car accident is a jarring experience within itself, but the aftermath can be just as unsettling. It’s good to have a guide, things that may help you regain your footing.

Seek Medical Attention

This is the most important action you can take. You need to be examined. Head injuries, even if they seem minor at first, can be incredibly dangerous and may not present symptoms until later on. Neck injuries might also take time to show up. Bruises will develop in the days after the accident.

If you have any cuts or scrapes, make sure to clean them well with soap and water before applying a bandage. If there is something embedded in the wound that you cannot remove, go see your doctor right away.

Minor breaks, abrasions, or ligament tears can often go undiagnosed, dismissed as delayed pain. Any and all discomfort needs to be addressed as soon as possible. It’s always better to know than assume.

Gather Information

The other driver’s name, address, phone number, insurance company, and policy number are all important pieces of information to have. If there were any witnesses to the accident, get their contact info too. They may be able to provide valuable statements about what happened leading up to and during the collision.

If officers arrive on the scene, have them write down their name, department, and badge numbers. You may need to contact them at a later date.

You should also write down the time and location of where the accident occurred, along with weather conditions if they played any factor in the crash.

Take Pictures or Videos

If you can safely do so without putting yourself in further danger, take pictures of the accident. This includes the damage to your car, and any other vehicles involved. If there is damage to public property, take pictures of those as well.

The more evidence you have regarding the accident, the better.

This will be important for your insurance company so that they can begin their own investigation – both cars from different angles, skid marks on the ground if there are any, etcetera. This evidence could prove invaluable down the road if there is ever a dispute when determining who was at fault for the car accident.

Contact Your Insurance

Letting your insurance provider know what happened is incredibly important, even if you do not plan on filing a claim right away or believe that it would be denied because another driver was at fault for causing the collision. Gather as much information as you can. Insurance can be quite particular with their claim requirements, so the more you have to support your story, the better.

If you have health insurance, your vehicle coverage company may ask for a copy of the report as part of their claim requirements. Even if they don’t need it, having an official document stating what happened can help you down the road when dealing with medical bills and other expenses.

File a Police Report

If there were no officers on the scene when the accident occurred, you should file a police report with your local police department. It is best to do this within 24 hours of the accident.

It isn’t always necessary, but it’s best to have a record of the situation on file.

Contact an Attorney

If your accident took place with a corporation, you may be entitled to a personal injury settlement. Firms like Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers negotiate compensation for medical bills, insurance costs, and emotional distress.

Injury lawyers will file a suit on your behalf. They’re in charge of contacting the company involved and litigating a settlement that meets your expectations.

Purchase A New Vehicle

If your car was totaled in the accident, you may need to purchase a new vehicle.
If the insurance company approves your claim, they will pay out your totaled vehicle for its fair market value at the time of the accident. How much money you receive depends on whether or not there is any damage remaining after repairs have been made. You can use those funds to purchase your next vehicle.

If you need a loan, speak with the finance department of your dealership about low APR financing offers or 0% interest loans. This can help keep costs down when buying a new car after an accident.

Get Back On The Road

Once your doctor clears you to drive, get back out there as soon as possible. It’s understandable to be hesitant, but the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to settle back into your routine.

Being in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, but taking the aftermath one step at a time will make the process easier.

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