There is never a good time to be involved in a car accident. Even a minor fender bender has a way of turning your life upside down.
Fortunately, if you know what you're doing, you can take a few key steps after an accident. By doing so, you're in position to alleviate some of the stress associated with this event.
- Conduct a health check. In addition to yourself, check on the health and well being of your passengers. Remember, there is nothing more important than your health.
- Call for help. It's imperative to call 911, as you want the police and an ambulance to arrive at the scene as soon as possible.
- Exchange information. If possible, exchange important information with the other party. This can include insurance details, name, phone number, address and license plate number.
- Speak with witnesses. Did anyone else see the accident? If so, speak with them about what happened and collect their contact information.
- Focus on your medical treatment. Any injury should be treated immediately by a professional. Furthermore, you should follow the advice of your medical team in regards to long term treatment.
- Contact your insurance company. Without delay, you should contact your insurance company to report the accident and share information regarding the circumstances. Stick to the facts, nothing more and nothing less.
- Watch for early settlement offers. Insurance companies don't want accident claims to drag on. For this reason, they often make an early settlement offer. Unfortunately, this is typically a lowball offer in an attempt to get you to go away.
While all of these steps are important, nothing matters unless you receive medical treatment and know what it will take to recover from your injuries.
Once you are stable, you can then learn more about your legal rights and how to obtain compensation for your injuries and other damages resulting from the car crash.
Since you're sure to run into some challenges, such as an insurance company that doesn't want to pay what your claim is worth, it may be in your best interest to consult with a personal injury attorney. With legal help on your side, it's easier to understand your rights and be confident that you're taking all the right steps in the days, weeks, and months to come.