A Complete Guide
This guide will show you everything you will need to get through a recent auto accident.
- What to do at the scene of the accident
- What paperwork or evidence you should keep on hand
- How much your settlement might be worth
- Talking to your insurance company
- and more
If you want to stop wondering what you should do and start working on your claim, then this guide is for you.
What to Do Right After an Accident
In this chapter, we’ll examine what you should do after an auto accident.
We’ll talk about what information you should give out after your car accident. What evidence of your auto accident you should get on the scene. If you should seek medical care or call law enforcement to the scene of the auto accident.
Let’s Get Started.
At the Scene of the Car Accident
Before you call your insurance or get an auto accident lawyer involved you have the matter of what to do after an auto accident. First, don’t panic. Remain calm and check for injuries on both yourself and any passengers of your vehicle. If you can do so safely, check on the driver and passengers of the other car. Next, contact the police. Never drive off after an accident and always report the accident to authorities no matter how small the auto accident.
Right After an Auto Accident Makes Sure to:
- Do Not Drive Off
- Do Not Admit Guilt or Say it Was Your Fault
- Check for Injuries
- Call Authorities (no matter how minor the accident)
While you are waiting on the police, if you are able, share insurance information with the other driver. Make sure to get a picture of their insurance card for later. While you have your phone camera out, also try and get pictures of the damage done to both vehicles. If you have a dashcam make sure to save the data for later. Next, see if anyone at the scene is willing to give a statement of what happened to the police when they arrive.
While Waiting for Police and After They Arrive:
- Share Insurance Information
- Take a Picture of the Other Driver’s Insurance Information for Later
- Take Pictures of the Damage
- Save Dashcam Data
- See If Anyone Uninvolved is Willing to Give a Statement to Police.
Finally, make sure to see a doctor.
Should I See a Doctor After a Car Crash?
In this chapter, we’re going to dig into if and why you should see a doctor after an accident.
No matter how minor your auto accident case it’s important you see a medical professional immediately after your auto accident.
Let’s See Why.
Should I Go to A Doctor After A Car Accident?
If you’ve been in a car accident it’s always a good idea to see a medical professional. Traumatic brain injury, concussions, and some brakes and sprains can go without symptoms for several hours. It’s important to put your health first after your auto accident, even if you feel fine.
Common Auto Accident Injuries:
- Scrapes and Cuts
- Head Injuries
- Broken Ribs
- Internal Bleeding
Some signs and symptoms of a traumatic injury may appear some hours or days after your accident. Even though your doctor released you, you should still get it checked up as signs appear. Auto accident injuries that appear hours or days after can be just as risky as injuries received on site. Some signs you may have a serious injury after an auto accident:
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat and pulse.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Cool, clammy skin and sweating.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Confusion and anxiety.
If you are experiencing the above symptoms after your car crash it’s important that you see a doctor immediately. Keeping a record of medical help/conditions found after an accident could dramatically help any future case that comes up after your auto accident.
Could I Claim PTSD After an Accident?
Many people deal with nervousness while driving after an accident. When you’ve been in a serious car accident you could be dealing with the feeling of intense fear getting behind the wheel again. This feeling might go on for months or even years and that could affect your ability to get to work or live the life you once did.
Symptoms of PTSD from a Car Wreck:
- An ongoing, general feeling of uneasiness.
- Anxiety about driving or riding in vehicles.
- Not wanting to have medical tests or procedures done.
- Irritability, or excessive worry or anger.
- Nightmares or trouble sleeping.
- A feeling that you’re not connected to other events or people.
- Ongoing memories of the accident that you can’t stop or control.
What If I Wasn't Injured? Should I Still See a Doctor?
Even if you weren’t seriously injured in your auto accident you should still see a doctor. Not just because you may not know you’re seriously injured, but because it could help your case later on. Keeping records of your auto accident could help you if you decide to bring your case to court. Persuing a case requires evidence of any injures, damages, and who is at fault. That is why it is so important to go to a doctor after any auto accident.
What Do I Say to My insurance company?
In this chapter, let’s talk about what you should say to your insurance company after your auto accident.
After a car wreck, it can be nerve-wracking to think about what your car insurance will cover and what will happen next. Not sure what you should say to your insurance company? We’ll help you out.
Let’s See Why.
Talking to My Insurance Company After an Accident
Talking to your insurance company after an auto accident can be tricky and it will be tempting to take the first settlement offered to you. Before accepting any offer it’s important to really evaluate what your case is worth. Most insurance companies will try to offer you a settlement that is far lower than what your injuries and damages may actually end up costing you.
First, make sure that the insurance company is aware that an accident has occurred. It’s important that documentation of this event is there. Write down the day and time that you called your insurance company. Next, make sure that the insurance company is getting all the details on the accident. Make sure they have insurance information from the other driver, let them know that police were at the scene, and inform them of any injuries. Once again, do not admit guilt or say the accident was your fault if it was not or you were only partially to blame.
What You Should Talk About:
- The Auto Accident Occurred
- When and Where the Accident Happened
- Any Injuries that Happened on Site and that You Plan to Follow Up with a Doctor
- The Insurance Information of the Other Driver
- That the Police were on the Scene
- DO NOT ADMIT GUILT or say the accident was your fault
If the insurance company gets back to you after about your settlement, make a note of the amount but do not accept. Tell them that you need some time to think about the offer. During this time make sure that you are doing some math of your own and do consult a lawyer.
Talking to a Lawyer about my accident
In this chapter, we’ll begin talking about the case process and working with a lawyer.
After speaking with your insurance company about settlements it’s always a good idea to make sure you are getting what your case is worth before accepting. This is when lawyers come in. Don’t worry, you don’t have to start a case right away. With free consultations, a lawyer can help you determine if you’re settlement is enough to cover your bills or not.
Let’s See How to Get Started.
Talking to a Lawyer About Your Auto Accident Case
After talking to your insurance company you’re ready for the next big step; talking with an auto accident lawyer. This part can feel challenging but is actually quite easy to set up. Many local lawyers will offer free case evaluations and won’t charge until after a case has been won. This keeps you and your case safe as you decide your next steps. First, try reaching out to lawyers in the area about your auto accident case. Most car accident lawyers have forms, chatbots, and more to start the conversation. Be clear in your first message that you’ve been in an accident and that you would like a free case evaluation. This keeps back and forth at a minimum and gets you in with a lawyer quicker.
Keep your paperwork and documentation on hand for questions before and during the evaluation. Law firm staff will ask you many questions before assigning a day to come in.
What to Have Ready for Over the Phone Conversation:
- Date and Time of Accident
- Your Insurance Provider
- Medical Records
- A Settlement Offer (if any) From Your Insurance Provider
Once you’re ready for your free case evaluation remember to bring not only the above records but information like the other driver insurance or pictures of the crash. If you called the police to the scene your lawyer can pull this information for you along with medical records if you are unable to get them.
When I Start an Auto Accident Case Am I Suing the Driver or My Insurance Company?
One thing many people don’t know is who pays the bills in an auto accident case. Many people believe that personal injury cases are going after the other party and are motivated by petty or inflated charges. This isn’t the case. In a personal injury lawsuit like an auto accident case, your lawyer helps you collect from an insurance company. You pay your car insurance bill to cover the costs of an accident when it happens. You expect that will mean any medical bills or damages. However, insurance companies don’t always live up to that agreement and may try to get you to settle for less than you deserve.
When you start an auto accident lawsuit you’re holding your insurance company accountable for the agreement you made when you started paying monthly. This means helping you pay for the medical cost associated with your car accident and damages done to your vehicle.
What evidence will a lawyer need to help my case?
In this chapter, we’ll discuss what evidence you’ll need for a successful auto accident case.
Before talking to a lawyer it’s a good idea to have certain information ready before beginning the conversation.
Let’s See How to Get Started.