A vehicle crash can be a traumatic occurrence for everyone involved. If you are an…
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 38,680 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2020. Even though people drove less due to the pandemic, there was an increase of about 7.2% from 2019.
Car accidents can be traumatic for both the victim and the driver. To avoid car accidents to an extent, you must opt for defensive driving. However, some people drive carelessly or take negligent actions while driving, putting others at risk. While it is impossible to avoid accidents, we must know what steps to take after a car accident if it’s not your fault.
Here are some aspects that you should keep in mind.
What to Do After a Car Accident When You Are Not at Fault?
Ensure the Safety
The first thing to do is make sure you and your passengers are safe.
Move a little from the flow of traffic but do not drive away from the scene. If the other driver drives away, stay on the accident scene, and continue to the further steps. If you are not in the way of traffic, do not move your car, stay in it, and turn on the hazard lights.
Call Emergency Number 911 Immediately
Whether the accident is minor or severe, call 911 immediately. The police report helps speed up your insurance claim process. Staying at the spot and calling the police will benefit your case, especially if the car accident was not your fault.
Do not call the police if there are only dents or scratches and no one is severely injured. However, if the estimate of your damage is worth more than $1000, or someone is injured, you should call the police.
Get Necessary Information
The driver at fault is responsible to report the accident to their insurance company. However, make sure you also take the contact information of the insurer. Drivers at fault are often reluctant to report the accident to their insurance company.
It is vital to gather all the necessary information at the accident scene to help your case. Collect the following information:
- Name and address of driver at fault.
- Insurance company’s name and policy information of driver at fault.
- Statements and contact information from witnesses.
- Pictures of the accident scene – it is best if you take photos right after the accident. If you have to shift a little from the spot due to safety concerns, take photos of damages to vehicles.
All the information and evidence gathered at the scene keeps you in a beneficial position and strengthens your case when you file a lawsuit. For information contact a personal injury lawyer West Palm Beach.
Give Mindful Statements to Others
Avoid speaking with other drivers at fault as much as possible. If you need to talk, pay attention to what statement you are giving them. Be careful not to take responsibility for the accident.
Do not discuss the fault and do not offer to pay the damage cost. Avoid making statements like:
- I am sorry.
- It was my mistake. I didn’t see you.
- I am okay.
Keep in mind that the driver is going to repeat your statement to their insurance company. These statements serve as grounds to the insurance company, and they help them delay or reduce the claim.
What Happens Next?
Once you make it through all the above-mentioned steps, the next step is recovery.
First, your body needs to be recovered. No matter how injured you are, visit medical care to ensure there are no hidden injuries that may surface later. If you are severely injured, it may take several weeks to months for recovery. Also, collect the documentation of medical care you received. Make sure you provide medical records, medical bills, physician notes, prescriptions, physical therapy records, and imaging studies to the insurance company to review.
Next, your car needs to be repaired. Keep all the documents of the repair process securely with you, including given estimates and updates you received. Also, keep the receipt from the car rental service with the documentation. You will need proper documentation to ensure you get the appropriate compensation for the property damages.
It is recommended to hire a car accident lawyer Fort Lauderdale to help you get the settlement, whether it’s in the court or outside the court. Accidents can be traumatic, and you may not be in your best condition mentally or physically. Your lawyer will handle everything for you – from the documentation process to the compensation for your damages.
We hope this blog was informative – follow this space to get more such tips. Also, if you need legal assistance for any of your vehicle accidents, feel free to book a consultation with Wolf and Pravato attorneys – we’ll help you learn your rights and get the justice you deserve.