Two Cars After Fender Bender Handling Car Accidents

The Best Advice for Handling Car Accidents

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Being in a car accident is no fun. But it gets even worse if you don’t handle things properly, putting you at risk.

Even if you aren’t at fault, there are some steps you should take to protect yourself. This guide outlines the best advice for handling car accidents. 

Table of Contents

Assess the Damage

When you’re in a wreck, you should first check how bad the situation is. Before you even get out of your vehicle, think about how you feel.

It’s not unusual for the stress to make it hard to process the event. So, if you believe you have been hurt in a wreck, you should call for help and be examined by a doctor right away.

If you’re unhurt, get out of your vehicle and check the condition of other drivers, passengers, and vehicles. Render first aid as needed, call for emergency services, and stay out of the road until they arrive. Unless vehicles are a safety hazard, they should remain in place until emergency services come.

The Law Offices of David Kohm recommends using your phone to record the accident scene. This could be particularly important if you feel you must move your vehicle out of the road, as you can record the situation before doing so.

Stick Around

If you’re directly involved in an accident, you must never leave the scene until after the police tell you.

Even if an accident isn’t your fault and nobody is hurt, FindLaw explains that leaving the scene of an accident can lead to legal consequences.

By sticking around and talking with officials, you also have an opportunity to tell your side of the story.

Contact Your Insurance

Regardless of who is at fault, you must report the accident to your insurance company. Many people are hesitant, but your contract with the insurer requires it.

Your insurer will look at things like fault and total damage. This is determined by comparing the cost to make repairs with the vehicle’s current value.

Each insurance company has its own criteria for the assessment. Still, generally speaking, if the expense exceeds 75 percent of the vehicle’s worth, it’s considered totaled. 

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Get Organized

You need to keep several records relating to the accident. It’s also wise to assemble them all in one place.

The police report is vital, as it often includes the attending officer’s opinion of who is at fault. There also might be information like eyewitnesses and their statements. 

Additionally, you should keep all repair records from your accident and any photos or videos you took at the scene.

If you are injured, your medical records will be crucial, including related prescriptions, physical therapy records, chiropractic services, etc.

Not only is it essential to have your medical information organized for insurance purposes, but it’s also a good practice in case of a lawsuit.

Decide on Representation

After a wreck, whether or not you need to hire a lawyer can be confusing. If you aren’t at fault, nobody was hurt, and there is no damage, chances are you’re fine without hiring legal help.

Nolo points out if another driver sues you, your insurance company will often appoint an attorney for representation. If you hurt someone in a car wreck, experts recommend hiring your own attorney.

This is because the attorney your insurance company employs represents them. In this case, you could be better off having your own representation to protect your interests. 

Final Thoughts

Being in an accident is an upsetting situation at best. If it’s mishandled, there can be severe financial and legal ramifications on top of the emotional trauma.

Be sure to keep good records and connect with appropriate help along the way. Most importantly, make taking care of yourself your top priority.

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