You may think that fender-benders are the most common type of car crash. But that doesn’t mean that big car accidents never happen.
The likelihood of you getting injured in a car accident isn’t small. There are at least 20 million reported injuries every year. You need to know what to do if that happens. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, this post will help. Below are nine things you need to know about after an accident happens.
1. Check for Injuries at the Scene
The first thing you need to do after a car accident is to take care of yourself. If you’re injured, call 911 right away.
If you appear to be uninjured, check on the other driver to determine if they need an ambulance. If they don’t, make sure to get the police on the scene so you can file an accident report.
Make sure not to allow the other person to talk you out of filing a report. If you have hidden injuries, it will be harder to file your claim with the insurance company.
2. Gather Evidence
If you don’t need immediate medical attention, it’s vital to gather as much evidence at the scene as you can. You want all the proof you can so you can show the insurance company that you aren’t at fault.
Start by taking pictures of all the damage to both cars. You want to capture the damage to both vehicles so the insurance company can get a better view of what happened.
Once you get your pictures, get as much information about the other driver as you can. Get their car make, license plate number, insurance information, and driver’s license if possible.
3. Call Your Insurance Company
Once you gather all your information, you need to get in touch with your insurance company. Even if the other person is at fault, you still need to let your insurance provider know what’s going on.
Doing this will give you options if the other driver’s insurance company doesn’t want to provide you with compensation for damages. Your provider will be able to prepare beforehand so that they can work to give you the benefits you deserve.
Your insurance provider may also need to cover your expenses while waiting for the other driver’s provider. You may have to pay your deductible upfront, but it will be refunded once the other insurance provider reaches a decision.
4. See Your Doctor
If your accident didn’t require immediate medical attention, it’s time to see your doctor. Your injuries may be more severe than they look. You need a doctor to examine you to see if there are more problems caused by the crash.
Your body will be full of adrenaline after your accident. It may take days or weeks before you start noticing hidden injuries. Make sure you have all the information before you make your claim.
5. Don’t Wait Too Long to File
You may want to wait until you get more information before you file your insurance claim. But waiting too long can get you in trouble.
Every insurance company has a statute of limitations on filing claims. If you go past that date, then you won’t be able to file for benefits. Make sure you understand how long you have to file your claim.
6. Be Careful What You Say
The other driver may ask you about any injuries after the accident. It’s important not to give them too much information.
Always remember that they aren’t necessarily your friend in these situations. They have their own interests to look out for.
If you say the accident didn’t injure you, insurance companies can hold it against you. Make sure to save injury talk until you see a doctor. Don’t guess how badly your hurt.
The same thing applies to insurance companies. When you speak to the adjuster, they may ask you the same questions in different ways. Make sure you know your answers, so they don’t hold what you say against you.
7. Document the Medical Process
Your first visit to the doctor may not tell you everything. You’ll learn about the time you need to take off work, medical procedures, and medication you need over time. You need to keep track of all of this.
If you don’t, the insurance company may not have an accurate number available to award you for damages. If you wait too long to tell the insurance providers the real cost of your injuries, all your medical expenses and lost wages may not be included in your claim.
8. Be Prepared to Fight for More Money
For minor injuries, you won’t have too much trouble getting a settlement from the car insurance companies. The amount is small enough that it will all be covered.
Things are more complicated if you have a more severe injury.
In cases like these, your medical bills may cost more than the insurance policy covers. An insurance provider may try to get around paying all your bills. You need to be prepared to negotiate your settlement in cases like this.
9. Consider Hiring an Attorney
Going through a car accident injury isn’t an easy process. If you’re injured, dealing with insurance companies is only going to bring you more stress. If this is the case for you, consider hiring an attorney to help.
When you hire an attorney, you’re bringing in someone who has a history of dealing with cases like yours. They can handle the legwork while you focus on getting better. If the insurance company is trying to deny you, an attorney will also know what to do to increase your chances of winning your case.
Take Care of Yourself After You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident
Recovering from a car accident injury is a serious concern. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, make sure you take the proper steps so you can get the care you deserve.