According to data that was collected by the US Census Bureau, there were around 10.8 million motor vehicles accidents in the year 2009 alone. That number does not include the multitude of small bumps, scratches and collisions that go unnoticed and unreported every year.
Being involved in a car accident can be very stressful. If and when you get into one, you should remain as calm as possible and take the steps necessary to ensure that everything is resolved in a manner that is in the best interest of all parties involved.
What You Should Do
- Call emergency services
Even if you are not injured, the best thing you can do is to call emergency services. Having police officers on the scene helps you get detailed documentation of the incident that will help you once you file an insurance claim.
- Get the other driver’s insurance information
The most important thing to do is get the other driver’s insurance information. This is important because the companies need this so they can discuss who will pay for the damage.
- Record the incident
If you still have your faculties about you, try to get as much information as you can about the incident as possible. This involves getting pictures of the car/s from multiple angles, and getting pictures of the surrounding area. Even if this may seem excessive, it will be extra evidence that you can use to backup your story.
- Get medical attention
If you are only slightly injured it is still important that you get medical attention immediately. Some injuries might take a few days to surface, making it difficult to prove that the injury was caused by the accident. It is also a good idea to keep a detailed account of the all the medical procedures that you went through during your recovery.
- Collect information
After the accident, try to get as much information about the incident as possible. Police reports, photographs, witness accounts, contact information, correspondence with doctors and receipts are all items that will help you when you file your claim.
If your injuries prevent you from moving around, ask a family member or a friend to gather all of the evidence and documents for you.
What NOT to Do
Don’t lie but don’t try to claim sole responsibility either. If, for example, you crash into a parked car, you are usually the one who is at fault. But in most cases, it’s not so simple. Even if you did make a mistake, it is possible that the other driver might have made one as well.
What you need to do is give a complete and honest report of what happened to the police and the insurance company. Don’t offer your opinion but stick to your story and hand over photos or any other evidence that you might have gathered.
Getting Professional Help
In any situation, it can be very difficult to deal with insurance companies. If you are finding it difficult to keep up with all of the requirements of the insurer or if you find it daunting to engage in claim settlement negotiations, a personal injury attorney can help you with the paperwork and put together proper demands for your claim.
Robert A. Personal Injury Law Queens 134-29 Kew Gardens Rd Jamaica, NY 11418 (718) 206-2512 injurylawyerqueensny.com