When you get involved in a car accident, stop the car even if there is little or no damage. Similarly, you should wait until you talk to your attorney before you do anything rash. You may get injured or disoriented in the accident and in turn, may result in some difficulties in the claims process. Thus, it is prudent that you carry yourself out well in the aftermath of your losses.
Knowing what you should or not do in this situation is very important, especially if you’re not that familiar with the law. Hawaii, for example, is a no-fault state. As stated here, in most cases, you will have to file a claim first with your insurance company to cover any medical bills. This is just one example of what most people do not take the time to know about, making legal representation absolutely vital when handling insurance claims.
However, in this article, we have laid out for you the three things you should never forget to do if you ever get involved in a vehicular accident.
Remain at the Scene
Avoid fleeing the scene of the accident. When you escape, it is an offense, and you can get charged and take responsibility for the accident. Regardless of who is at fault, remain at the scene. Doing so may also help you in gathering and talking to witnesses who might help you with your insurance claim through your car accident lawyer.
Furthermore, when you leave the scene of the accident immediately, your chances of making a claim against the other party becomes minimal. However, you can leave the scene of the accident when it is unsafe, when calling for help or when going to report the accident. Until then, remain in the scene until paramedics or the police arrive.
While at the scene waiting for help or the police, do not apologize to the other party. However much you may be inclined to be polite, keep yourself from apologizing at the scene of the accident. When you apologize, you admit that you are at fault. During the adjustment process, statements, photos, physical damages, and reports from the police are compiled to know who was at fault. Therefore, when compelled to talk, only ask if the other party is safe or has been injured.
Notifying the Police and Insurance Company
You may think that it is fine to not call the police when nobody gets injured in an accident. However, it is not right. You should call the police regardless of whether someone has been injured or not. The generated police report can help in the subsequent lawsuits, and in determining who was at fault. Also, the police report has the details of the witnesses, condition of the road, and any other details about the accident. Even though some may situations allow drivers to exchange their insurance details after an accident and leave, it is vital to have a police report. The report can, later on, help you resolve the claim.
Even when you have a minor accident, let the police know about it. After calling the police, notify your insurance company. Regardless of whether you are at fault or not, notify your insurance company. Investigations and defense are provided for by the insurance contract. Doing so makes the handling of your claim to be quicker.
After reporting the accident to your insurance and the police, avoid posting any details of the accident on the internet. However much you may get tempted to put the details of the accident online, do not give in. Know that the insurance companies seek to find any opportunity of denying or reducing your injury claim. Therefore, their defense lawyers may use the posted information against you.
Although you may be shaken after the accident, document everything. Have as many details about the accident as possible. These details will come in handy during the claim process. Also, the notes that you write from the accident will later improve the accuracy of your memory. You should write notes about the driver and the situations that led to the accident. Similarly, write down the speed, the road conditions, and if there were any distractions. These distractions may include adjusting your radio, texting, or calling using your cell phone.
When you have a camera, consider taking pictures of the scene. Write all the details of the involved parties and do not forget their insurance provider’s information. If you have witnesses to the accident, let them write a brief statement describing what transpired, and write down their details. Additionally, write the chronology of the accident. Write the plate numbers of the involved vehicles. This information might come in handy to your car accident lawyer while in court or when following an insurance claim.
Although car accidents vary from one situation to another, know what to expect. Additionally, be educated about the things to do in case of an accident to make the claim process easier for you. It is prudent that you know how your insurance company handles all the claim processes through consulting an insurance lawyer. Similarly, review the details of the car policy with an insurance representative before taking any policy.