When you get into a car accident the last thing you want to do is talk to your insurance provider. You are probably dealing with different levels of shock and don’t want the pressure of talking to a professional. However, the deed needs to be done, so to help you through the process have created an easy-to-follow guide that shows how the process works.
Step 1 – Call For Medical Aid
Even if you don’t have any obvious injuries after the accident, you should call for medical aid. This is because you could be concussed or have hidden injuries that you won’t notice until the shock wears off.
Getting medical attention also created a true “start to finish” document for your injuries. This is one of the main things that car accident attorneys require for a successful claim.
Make sure to check on your passengers and any other people connected to the accident too.
Step 2 – Get Away From The Accident Site
When we say to move away from the accident site, we don’t mean get on a bus and go home. We mean move yourself or your vehicle somewhere safe to prevent more accidents from happening.
When drivers see something unexpected on the roads, they are likely to stare at the phenomenon and even drive towards it. This can cause another accident. To avoid this, move your car to the shoulder or off the main road. If you can put up reflective triangles or warnings for other drivers, that would be beneficial too.
If you are worried that the car might explode, move yourself and everyone else away from the vehicle.
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Step 3 – Call Local Law Enforcement
Even if you think the incident was minor, you should contact your local law enforcement about the incident. Some states actually require you to follow this step. Although it might seem like an inconvenience, this is another win for the “start to finish” timeline that your attorneys will need.
Creating a factual timeline that uses both medical aid and law enforcement can create an accident picture for the insurance company and your attorney to follow.
When the officer arrives, they will take a note of the scene and create an accident report. This information will be used in your insurance claim. You can also create additions to the accident report by taking your own photos.
We recommend you take photos or videos of anything you think is important about the incident.
Step 4 – Gathering Details
You should get the name and insurance information of every driver involved in the accident. If anyone refuses to give you this information, take a photo of their number plate to give to your insurer.
If you can gather the same information from any witnesses of the crash, you can aid your case too. The more people confirming the story of events, the more secure your claim will be.
Along with the other drivers and witnesses, make a note of the officer who is with you. Get their name, badge number, and work number. If there are any issues with the accident report, you know who to contact or who the insurance company should contact.
Step 5 – Contact Your Insurance Company
You can call your insurance company either at the scene of the accident, or when you are safe and home. We recommend calling them when you are feeling calm, otherwise, they might tell you important information which you struggle to retain due to the shock of the incident.
You will need to tell the insurance company the time and location of the incident, the VIN of your vehicle which was involved, the name of the driver, how the accident happened, the damages, and the details you gathered in step 4.
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Step 6 – Understand Your Claim and Coverage
Talk to your insurance company about the types of claims you can make. As your insurer, they will be able to walk you through their specific process and go into detail about the type of coverage you have.
To be extra secure, you should ask for a copy of your coverage (if you have lost your original copy) and read it yourself. This is to make sure that your insurance company doesn’t fall foul to human error, or doesn’t actively try to avoid paying you your fair amount.
If they do fail to pay, this is when you can bring your attorney into the situation. You may want to ask them for their advice anyway. In either situation, you can showcase all the evidence you have gathered from step 1 through to step 5.
After these 6 steps, your insurance provider and the attorney will be able to walk you through your specific claim.
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