Car accidents in general can add a lot of stress to someone’s life. These accidents can leave individuals with injuries that range from minor cuts to serious life-threatening injuries and can leave individuals with expensive medical bills and lost wages. It can be overwhelming to know where to start or what to do after an accident occurs.
There are many different types of car accidents that occur, but hit and run accidents are ones that occur more often than you might think. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported that one hit and run accident occurs every 43 seconds in the United States. These accidents can leave individuals feeling hopeless because they are left with property damages and injuries. It is important to understand what steps to take after being involved in any type of car accident.
What To Do After Someone Hits Your Car
It is very important to understand what to do after someone hits your car. There typically is a lot going on after this occurs, so it is good to have a general understanding of what to do in any situation that involves a car accident. Listed below are a few helpful tips and steps to follow in the event of someone hitting your car.
Contact Emergency Personnel
Directly after the accident occurs, you need to call 911 if you can. Once you know the emergency staff is on the way, focus on getting yourself and anyone else out of harm’s way. When the police show up, they will file a police report. This police report is a critical document to have when filing a claim. The police officer will write down their evaluation of the accident scene and give their opinion on what occurred at the time of the accident. Make sure you get a copy of the police report before they leave the scene.
The police report will just state what happened in the accident, who was involved, and where it occurred. It is crucial for you to recall exactly what occurred at the time of the accident. When you are providing information, you want to make sure the information is accurate and highlights exactly what occurred without exaggerating any details. It is very helpful if you can describe any information about the driver that hit you or the car they drove. This police report will be an essential piece of evidence in your legal case.
After you have contacted the emergency personnel, write everything down exactly as you remember it. Car accidents can be traumatizing and can cause someone to forget certain details. For this reason, it is crucial to write everything down at the scene so you can go back in the future and refresh your memory of any forgotten information.
If this is a hit and run accident, try to see the other driver’s license plate number and write it down immediately. That piece of information is probably the most important when trying to figure out who was responsible for the hit and run accident. The police will have an easier time tracking down the driver of the other car if you can obtain their license plate number.
It is also very helpful to write down the type of car, the color of the car, and any other small details such as bumper stickers or dents. Other things to write down are details about the environment and weather. Be sure to note what the weather was like at the time of the accident, as well as if the accident occurred at a stoplight, stop sign, or intersection. All of this information will help the police identify who the reckless driver is.
Identify Witnesses At The Scene
Once you can calm down a little bit after the initial shock, look around to see if you notice anyone at the scene. If you do, go talk to them and obtain their contact information. You can contact them at a later date to discuss what they witnessed during the accident. It is crucial to gain insight from others who saw the accident to give you and the cops a better idea of exactly what happened.
Ask them if they would be willing to be a witness for your accident and if they agree, then write down their detailed description of exactly what they saw. Make sure they understand you will only share their story with the police and a personal injury attorney. Their information will be very beneficial because they can confirm what occurred from a non-biased perspective.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you have documented everything and contacted the police, you will want to inform your insurance company. They need to be fully aware of what happened in the event of someone hitting your car. The insurance company representative should talk to you about your coverage and help you understand what is covered during this type of accident. Additionally, if the other person did not run from the scene, you will want to obtain their insurance information as well.
You will want to call your insurance agent first to gain insight into how to handle the situation. They will be able to give you a clear picture of what you need to do. Often they will be able to contact the other driver’s insurance company and figure out all of the legal factors regarding them hitting you.
Often your insurance agent will tell you to not contact the other individual’s insurance company. You might be wondering why? The other person’s insurance agent will try to ask you questions and try to use your answers against you. They are much more interested in controlling the cost of paying for the accident that their customer caused. They might also try to bribe you into taking a deal that doesn’t benefit you the most. They could try to cut a deal with you that doesn’t play into your favor.
Always make sure to talk to your insurance agent first before giving any information out about your accident. Since you are their client, they will be looking out for your best interest. Don’t make the mistake of calling their insurance company before talking to your own agent.
What Will My Insurance Company Pay For After An Accident?
Your insurance company's coverage is dependent on what your specific plan covers. This is really determined on a case-to-case basis. There are many different plans and coverage options so it can be confusing to understand what they will pay for. It is critical that you talk about all of your options with your insurance agent so you are fully aware of what your insurance covers.
There are many different packages that all include different benefits and costs. Some of the common ones are collision coverage, liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, and medical payments coverage. It can be very confusing to understand what type of coverage comes with each package. For this reason, a phone call with your agent will help you clear up any questions you might have.
Should I Contact A Personal Injury Attorney?
This decision is ultimately up to you, but it is dependent on the type of accident you are involved in and how bad the damages were. A personal injury attorney will be able to help you file a legal claim against the person who hit you. These highly trained professionals know how to handle all different types of accidents and will be able to give you their best insight on what to do.
So what does this process look like? Once you contact an attorney they will do everything that involves filing a claim that best fits your situation. They will try to get you the maximum compensation for your car and injuries while you concentrate on your recovery process. Typically they will gather all of the evidence and communicate with witnesses so you can focus on your other life responsibilities. Essentially they are here to help fight for your legal rights so you don’t have to do it alone.
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