There are many traffic collisions that happen everyday. Thankfully, many of these car accidents only cause property damage, meaning there is damage to the cars rather than its occupants. That said, some of these car accidents lead to personal injuries while others can cause fatalities. But if you are involved in a traffic collision, there are specific things you must do to protect yourself. Remember that you can receive compensation for the car accident, especially if the other driver was at fault.
This is why you should have a Car Accident Lawyer in Lincolnton, NC to assist you get fair compensation. Whether it’s a minor car accident or a serious one, you need to know that it can shake you up to think clearly. Therefore, it’s a good idea to know what you need to do after the accident to make sure that the claim process is a bit easier. This page discusses what you need to do after road traffic collisions.
Get yourself and your car away from danger
Regardless of whether the traffic collision was minor or a major one, you should never leave the accident scene. Safety is always the first priority after a car accident, so make sure that every person involved in the accident is fine and get medical help if anyone needs it.
Remember that if you have no injuries and it was a minor accident, then you can drive your vehicle to the other side of the road to ensure that it doesn’t interrupt traffic. While doing this, you should always keep the hazard lights on and even set up reflective emergency triangles or flares to alert other drivers about the accident scene.
But if the car accident happens to be more severe and someone is injured, then you should leave the cars where they are. Whether you think you are injured or not, you should be careful when coming out of the car. This is especially true if the traffic collision took place on a busy street or highway. At this time, you may be confused and put your life in danger.
It’s also necessary to report the traffic collision to the police, but there are some minor car accidents that the police may fail to respond to. The good news is that there are some police departments that are changing to online reporting to make it easier to report car accidents.
Therefore, if the police officer arrives at the accident scene, make sure that you write down the badge number, the police officer’s name, and contact information. Also ensure that you should have the accident from the assigned police officer. On the other hand, if the police officers don’t come to the car accident scene, then consider requesting a copy of this police report from the office of the police officers or even via the insurance adjuster who is handling your claim.
Gather important information
You utilize your cellphone to take photos of the available documents. Alternatively, you can use your pen and paper to write down the address, name, driver’s license number, and phone number of the drivers involved in the traffic collision. If the driver’s name fails to match up with the registration of the car or insurance papers, then you need to find out the relationship of the driver with the owner of the car.
Once you do this, then you can collect the car information like year, make and model, licence plate number, and color. You should also remember to take the insurance policy number as well as the phone number of the insurance company. This is important in case the other driver fails to report the car accident. Also, check if there are any witnesses who are ready to offer you their contact details and information about the car accident.
Document the accident scene
It’s also crucial to record everything about the traffic collision using the camera of your cell phone. For example, you can check the impact to your car. This means you can find out if the impact was on the driver’s side, front side, or rear. The best way you can do this is by taking pictures of the whole car including close-up pictures of all the damages for both your vehicle and the other party’s vehicle.
You should record the time and date of the traffic collision. Also, make sure to video or photograph the accident scene like the skid marks and property damage. Take note of the street name as well as the direction each car was driving to before and after the traffic collision.
It’s worth it to consider recording the positions of the vehicles in relation to the street. This can be crucial information because it can assist the insurance adjuster to recreate the traffic collision once you file for the claim.
Also, you can sketch a diagram to show the accident scene. The good way to do this is by using a voice memo app that is on your phone. Therefore, you can say what caused the car accident to happen, but you should do this immediately after the accident. Avoid talking about responsibility at the accident scene.
Call a tow truck and insurance companies
Depending on the extent of the damage that your car sustained, it can be necessary to have your car towed to a car repair shop. Some people have memberships with motor clubs, so roadside assistance can be one of the benefits. Keep in mind that the police can also call tow truck companies while some car manufacturers can provide driver assistance programs. However, there are many tow truck companies out there, so make sure that you get the reputable ones.
It can be tempting to think about a cash deal by negotiating with the driver at fault so that you can avoid making insurance claims. However, when you fail to notify your insurance company about the car accident, it can expose you to liabilities for damages arising from the traffic collision.
For example, your insurance agent can declare your car a total loss because the cost of doing repairs can be higher than the value of the car. There is also a good chance that the driver at fault has low insurance coverage. In this case, it can be tempting to ask for money from the driver at fault, though it can be a good idea for the other driver to handle the claim.
Regardless of the extent of the damages, it’s a good idea to avoid leaving the accident scene even if your car has minor damages like a minor fender bender. This is especially true if the car accident is not your fault.
When it comes to insurance claims, you need to get a car accident lawyer to help you to figure out the available options. If the insurance of the other driver is not enough to cover for the damages, then your attorney can find ways to see how they can address this. For instance, there can sometimes be a liability waiver that can come in handy if your insurance thinks you were not to blame for the accident, meaning you may avoid paying a deductible.
Understand your insurance coverage
The entire insurance process can be easier after the car accident if you understand all the details of your insurance coverage. For instance, you should avoid waiting until you are involved in a traffic collision to know that your insurance policy doesn’t cover the costs like a replacement rental vehicle or for towing. In most cases, you may just need little money each month to add coverage when it comes to rental car reimbursement. This means you can have a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired or if it’s stolen.
It’s also crucial to find out the party responsible for paying for the damages after a car accident. When it’s a minor accident, it means you and the other driver can negotiate on how to deal with the damages without involving any insurance company. Unfortunately, this is not always a good way to handle this situation.
This is because the other driver can agree to pay for the damages sustained on the accident day. Ideally, they can see the repair bill later and consider them to be too high. Time may have passed and the insurance company can have problems gathering the evidence when you decide to file a claim.
Besides this, remember that it can sometimes be impossible to know if the other driver can change their mind and decide to report the traffic collision to their insurance company. They can even claim for injuries that were not noticeable at the accident scene. This means that your insurer can be forced to pay the other driver a settlement.
Worse still, there are good chances that you can face a lawsuit. Therefore, you should make sure that your insurer knows exactly what happened. On the other hand, if your insurer pays out a lower amount, then the car accident cannot be considered to be chargeable.