Imagine driving home through Port Saint Lucie after a tough day at work. You are looking forward to unwinding over the weekend and getting some much-needed rest and relaxation.
Unfortunately, your plans take a turn when another vehicle rear ends you at a stop light. If this hasn’t happened to you yet, count yourself lucky, but if it has, you might already know that the first few moments after a car wreck are extremely important.
It’s possible that in your first car accident, your adrenaline was pumping so hard that you could not take the necessary post-accident steps or perhaps you simply did not know exactly what you should do.
Before you find yourself in your first (or another) accident, take the time to memorize what you should do immediately after a car crash. By following these post-accident musts, you could have a stronger claim when it comes to filing with the insurance company.
Move out of traffic and call 911
The first thing you should do after a car accident is to move out of traffic (if possible) and call for emergency help. Don’t worry about changing the scene of the accident when you move your car; it will be much safer for you and other drivers if you can move your vehicle off to the side. Once the police get there, they will base their assessment off your statements, the statements of the other driver involved, the statements from witnesses and even the damage to your vehicles.
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, take a few moments to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. In many cases, the insurance companies will negotiate with each other to determine which is responsible for paying for damages. However, you may need to pursue legal action if the other driver’s insurance company continuously lowballs the damages or refuses to pay at all.
Get a copy of the police report
You may need to provide a copy of the police report when you file a claim for the accident, so be sure to obtain a copy as soon as it is available. Usually, these are ready within 72 hours, but it really depends on the police department that has jurisdiction over the report.
Another thing you can do while you are waiting on the police to arrive is to take pictures at the scene. Snap some photos of the damage to each vehicle and the area where the accident occurred. These could be very useful if the insurance company determines that the police report does not provide enough information for them to clearly see who was at fault in the accident.
This will also help you recall what happened when it comes time to make a statement to the insurance company about the wreck. Also, get statements and contact information from witnesses so that you can provide this additional evidence if the insurance company attempts to deny your claim.
If you have been the victim of a car accident, be sure to follow the above tips to protect your interests. In addition, these tips may help if you have to take legal action to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle.