When you are involved in an auto accident, it can be an unnerving experience. Regardless of how upset you may be, here are five things you should do after the accident.
Get the Other Driver’s Information
If you are injured or your car is not drivable, call the police to investigate the accident. The police will then gather necessary personal information about the other driver that will prove helpful in the future. If you are not injured and your car is still drivable, you should exchange information with the other driver by viewing their driver’s license and insurance card.
If you later discover you are injured after the adrenalin dies down, you will need this information if you intend to make a claim for your injuries against that driver and their insurance company.
Contact Your Insurance Company
You should put your insurance company on notice of the accident. If you are not at fault, the other driver’s insurance company could still deny your claim for damage to your vehicle or for personal injury, as the other driver may have told his company a different story, so you may have to use your coverage for the property damage.
Also, regardless of who is at fault, your own auto insurance is responsible to pay your medical bills resulting from the accident up to the limits of your coverage. Write down how you are feeling periodically, as surprisingly enough, you may forget pain and inconvenience at a later date.
If you talk to the other driver, their insurance company, or your insurance company, keep a journal of this. Write down who you talked to, when the conversation took place and what you talked about. You may not remember exactly what occurred otherwise and this information could be important in any claim you may make for injuries.
Keep All Paperwork
You may start to receive letters or emails from your insurance company and the insurance company for the other driver. You should keep everything you receive in a folder that you can easily access at a later date. This correspondence could prove important to you later on. If you fill anything out that you have to return to someone, such as a first party benefits application to start your medical claim with your company, make a copy of it before returning it and put it in your folder.
Contact An Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
We never bill anyone for calling and asking questions, so why not call to make sure everything is in order? Auto accident claims can be complicated. You need to know who should be paying for what and how to get that accomplished.
If the other driver is at fault and is uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM), the situation becomes even more complicated and if you have coverage under your policy for UM/UIM, you need to know how to properly calculate the amount of that coverage and take all of the necessary steps beforehand to make sure you don’t waive your UM/UIM claim.