Sunday, November 20, 2011

What To Do If You're In An Accident

Drive long enough and the odds are pretty good that you'll be in an accident eventually. No matter how vigilant and aware of your surroundings you are, some other driver isn't and will create a situation where your vehicles collide. So what are you supposed to do after you've been in an accident? What do you need to do to protect yourself and to make sure that you and your vehicle are taken care of?

1) Be Safe

If the accident is minor and the cars are still working, move them out of the main flow of traffic. Every year you hear stories of fender benders that turn into something worse because another vehicle hits the stopped cars, so make sure to put out road flares and reflective warning signs, even if you are on the side of the road. Unless the cars are disabled there's no reason to not move them to a safer location to continue the process - this protects the cars and you.

2) Exchange Information

Get the other person's personal and insurance information. If the person that was driving wasn't the person that owned the vehicle be sure to find out the relationship between them (friend, family, etc) and get the owner's information as well. Be polite, and never admit fault, even if you believe it to be yours.

3) Document What Happened

Take down notes of your account of the incident while they are fresh in your mind. Take pictures of the vehicles, the damage, and where the accident happened if you can do so safely. If there were any witnesses to the accident be sure to get their information as well, as they can be helpful if there's a dispute over what happened.

3) File A Report

Depending on where you are, and their current priorities, the police may not be able to send an officer to the scene of your accident for a statement and to file a report. If that's the case, be sure to file one on your own with the police department as your insurance company may use it as a reference.

4) Call Your Insurer

Once you've returned home be sure to call your insurance company. They'll want the information you gathered from the other driver as well as information about the accident. This process will be easier if you know what coverage you have, so it doesn't hurt to look that up before making the call.

5) Don't Be Afraid to Get a Lawyer

You may not need a lawyer. If the accident is minor, insurance agrees to cover the damages, and there are no injuries, it's fair to assume everything will be taken care of and there's no need to involve lawyers. If, however, there are disputes about who is at fault, or if the accident was severe and there are injuries, especially lingering ones that will require extended care, it may be necessary to retain the services of a personal injury attorney. Remember that just because you contact an attorney doesn't mean you have to go to court, so there's no harm in at least reaching out to make sure you're protected and that you will be taken care of in the long term, not being brushed aside by the insurance company making a quick offer to settle. Call personal injury lawyer for consultation at 877 824 0343/866 943 0897/877 855 3715 



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