What to do after a car accident
There’s no class about how to deal with a traumatic experience like a car accident and everyone’s reaction to it is different. Understanding a few essential things about the hours, days and weeks following a car accident can make a big difference, especially if you’re injured.
Here’s a list of things to do following a car accident, in no particular order,
Stay On Scene – Whatever you do, don’t leave the scene of an accident until it’s appropriate to do so, even if you’re not at fault. This can result in criminal charges.
Check The Status Of All Drivers, Passengers, Cyclists & Pedestrians – Before worrying about the damage to your vehicle, check on everyone involved. Medical attention for those in need should be a priority.
Call The Police – The specific rules as to when the police should be called differ between provinces and municipalities depending on the estimated vehicle damage, but if you’re unsure or if anyone is even slightly injured, call the police right away.
Exchange Information – While you’re waiting for the police to arrive get the names, numbers, addresses, drivers’ license numbers, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information from all drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians involved. Try to be cordial, cooperative and polite, even if you’re upset. Aside from that, don’t divulge how you think the accident happened, you might accidentally admit fault, even if you’re not at fault.
Talk To Witnesses – Collect the information of anyone not involved in the accident, and even ask them if they’ve seen similar accidents happen here before.
Inform Your Insurance Company – Once everything at the scene is taken care of, promptly inform your insurance company. When speaking to your insurer the truth is generally the best way to go. If you can obtain police reports send them to your insurer as well.
Medical Treatment – Record the names and contact information of any doctor, physician, nurse, therapist, chiropractor or other medical professional that you see for treatment. Keep track of the treatment details, reports, bills and any other documentation. Keep a record of how your injuries have impacted your daily life, including missed days of work and other activities.
Let Photos Tell The Tale – Take photographs of any damage to your vehicle and the accident scene as soon as possible after the accident. Photos helps your insurance adjuster determine how much you should be compensated for the damage to your car and can help in any court proceedings.
Discussing the Incident – Don’t talk to anyone about the accident other than your lawyer, your insurance company, and the police. Representatives from other insurance companies, attorneys, and other investigators may contact you, without the knowledge of your attorney or insurer. Always speak to your lawyer first.
Be Cautious of Early Settlements – Insurance companies or other parties may offer you settlements in the early goings of your injury case. It’s important to avoid settlement of your claim until you are certain that all of your losses and injuries are being compensated accordingly. Consult a lawyer before signing any settlement documents.
Contact MG Law – We specialize in helping people deal with the aftermath of car accidents, regardless of how big or small they are. We’ll help you navigate the entire situation from the day of the accident until the situation and proceedings come to an end. Our goal is to ensure you have the medical and legal help you need to get the settlement you deserve.