Auto Accident Do’s and Don’ts
A serious collision can have devastating results, especially if you fail to handle the accident in the proper manner. While the moments after a car accident can be total chaos, it’s important to keep a clear head. Many drivers are confused about their rights and duties. They may be worried about their insurance, personal injuries or damage to their vehicle. Even if you have never been in an accident, it’s important to be prepared in case you are ever put into this difficult situation. Learn more about auto accident do’s and don’ts in the case of a vehicle accident.
- Do call your insurance company in a timely manner. This will make it easier when it comes to repair and property damage claims. Some policies are able to cut you off a certain number of days after an accident, even as early as 30 days.
- Do see a doctor or go to the hospital if you are injured. A trip to the emergency room is essential for serious injuries, while a trip to see your family physician is typically suitable for small injuries. This is important documentation for personal injury claims.
- Do gather all evidence of the accident immediately. This includes photographs of the scene of the crash, information from the other driver and a copy of the accident report from the police. This report should be ready 3 to 5 days after the date of the accident.
- Do contact a personal injury lawyer if your injury is serious. A serious injury is typically one that does not feel better after a week and requires a trip to the emergency room for treatment. If you’re not sure, schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
- Do contact the insurance company of the other driver to report the accident. While you should not give the insurance company a recorded statement, it’s generally okay to let them know you have gone to see a doctor about your injuries and any other basic information about the crash.
- Do not sign a medical release that allows the other driver’s insurance company to gain access to your medical records. This is not a requirement although some insurance companies will try and talk you into it. These records can be collected and submitted on your own.
- Do not sign any documents or accept any type of compensation unless you are ready to settle after an accident. When you accept a check for damage or personal injury, you are releasing your claim permanently.
- Do not hire a lawyer, doctor or chiropractor who has contacted you after your vehicle accident. These so-called professionals target injured individuals to get your money after an accident.
- Do not wait to visit your doctor or go to the hospital if you are in pain. Your discomfort and injuries should be medically documented by a medical facility as this documentation is highly important in the case of a personal injury claim. It may be necessary to schedule follow-up appointments which should also be documented.