The following is a checklist of important steps that should be taken after a car accident in order to ensure that you are taken care of the best way possible.
Check the health status of all parties involved.
- Call 911 and report the accident and the conditions of those involved.
- Do not move injured parties.
- Make sure that the vehicles are in a safe place.
- Cooperate with the Police when they arrive.
- Do not admit fault at the scene, the insurance companies will determine fault later.
- Take pictures of the cars, the license plates, and the insurance cards.
- Ask a bystander for a witness statement.
- Always obtain a police report.
- Accept the ambulance ride if you are hurt.
- Call and notify your auto insurance company of the accident and set up a property damage claim. Do not tell your insurance company that you are not hurt, you may not realize your injuries for a few days after the accident.
- See your primary car physician to make sure you are ok.
- If you are injured, call your auto insurance company back and set up a PIP claim to cover your initial medical expenses.
- Visit a few local body shops and get estimates drawn up for your property damage.
- Call a personal injury attorney to set up a free consultation.
- Provide your attorney with all requested paperwork relating to the accident.
- Follow the recommendations of your doctor.
- Continue treating will all recommended physicians until you have returned to full health.
- Keep a journal detailing how the accident has affected your life.
- If your damages are in excess of $3,000, your attorney will file a bodily injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
- Wait patiently, working with insurance companies takes a great deal of time, going to court takes even longer but that is usually avoidable.
- Work together with your attorney to negotiate with the insurance company for a reasonable settlement amount that will leave you feeling fairly compensated. Always be honest with your attorney.
- When everything is complete, your insurance provider will be reimbursed for the PIP fund and for the property damage. Your doctors and attorney will be paid for their services, and most importantly, you will be back on your feet and in the position that you would have been in had you not been in a motor vehicle accident.
This article is offered only for general information and educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice or legal opinion. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this article without first seeking the advice of an attorney.