Being in an automobile accident is a frightening and overwhelming experience. But what can be more terrifying than the car crash itself is gathering the evidence you might need to prove your innocence and avoid liability.
This article will go over five of the most important things you need to know in the event of an automobile accident.
How Many Automobile Accident Deaths Happen in the United States Each Year?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over six million automobile accidents in the United States in 2015. Of those six million, approximately three million people were injured and 35,092 people were killed.
And in 2020, the number of fatal accidents has only gotten higher, with 38,824 people killed.
What You Should Know and Do If You’ve Been in an Automobile Accident
If you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident, it’s important to first make sure you are okay. Then, take these steps:
Exchange Information with Other Parties Involved: It’s Required by Law
Always remember to exchange information with the other parties involved in the traffic collision. You will need to get the following from each driver:
- Phone number.
- Insurance company and policy number.
- Driver’s license number.
- Make, model, and color of car.
- License plate number.
If there are any witnesses to the accident, be sure to get their name, address and phone number as well.
Documenting the Scene will Help You Later
After you’ve exchanged all of the appropriate information, and everyone is safe, it’s time to document the scene. If you have a camera phone, take pictures of the damage to all vehicles involved, as well as any skid marks or debris on the road.
It’s also a good idea to take photos of the surrounding area, in case there are any factors that contributed to the accident, such as a pothole or obstructed view. Be sure to get photos of street signs or landmarks so that police and insurance adjusters can find the accident site.
If you don’t have a camera phone, be sure to write down detailed descriptions of the damages and location. The more information you have about the accident, the easier it will be for your insurance company to process your claim.
Contact the Appropriate Physician
Make sure you also contact an appropriate physician or medical facility as soon as possible if you or anyone else involved in the accident needs medical attention.
Again, this is important for insurance purposes. You will want to get a full report from the doctor detailing your injuries, as well as any treatment recommendations.
Attend All Your Scheduled Physician and Physical Therapy Appointments
Attending all of your doctor appointments will ensure you are on the road to recovery. And, again, it also provides your insurance company with the documentation they need to process your claim.
If your injuries prevent you from attending these appointments, be sure to notify your insurance company as soon as possible.
Promptly Notify Your Insurance Company After an Auto Accident
Once you have all of the necessary information and documentation, it’s time to contact your insurance company. Your agent will likely ask you for a recorded statement about the accident, so be prepared to give one. It’s important to be completely honest when giving your statement, as any discrepancies could result in your claim being denied.
Your insurance company will then launch an investigation into the accident and may send out an adjuster to assess the damages. Once their investigation is complete, they will determine whether or not your claim is valid and how much they are willing to pay out. If you are unsatisfied with their offer, you can negotiate with them or hire an attorney to help you.
It’s important to remember that the goal of your insurance company is to minimize their payout, so it’s in your best interest to get multiple estimates and hold out for a fair settlement. With some persistence, you should be able to get the compensation you deserve.
Have you recently been in a car accident? Are you in need of a car accident lawyer? Sandel Law Firm has experienced car accident lawyers that can help you get the compensation you deserve. Visit our website or give us a call today for a free consultation at (844) 763-5529.