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A Guide for Handling an Auto Accident
If you’re in a car accident, you may find yourself overwhelmed. First, there’s the initial shock and concern for yourself and your passengers. You may experience anger and frustration. There’s the stress of everything you need to do. If you are in an accident, whether it’s your fault or not, protect your interests by remembering the following things.
Try to stay calm. Take a deep breath. If someone is injured, get them help before anything else. Call 911. You will get all of the first responders deemed necessary. While you’re waiting, set out cones if you have them and turn on blinkers and hazard lights if your vehicle is operable. With minor accidents, you may want to move your vehicle, but this should be a case-by-case basis depending on your surroundings, traffic, and capability.
Don’t leave the scene of the accident until the police have arrived. Make some notes about what happened, if you can. Take pictures and get witness information. Be polite and find out how the other driver is. Be careful what you say. You don’t want anyone to say that you admitted the accident was your fault. Limit what you say about the accident to anyone except the police or your agent. Gather your insurance verification and driver’s license to have available for the police.
Making an agreement with the other driver and exchanging insurance information is risky. Better to get a police report and let your insurance company sort it out. It’s estimated that around 12 percent of drivers in the United States don’t carry insurance on their vehicle. They fake insurance information or carry expired cards.
Begin a file with all the paperwork from the accident. Keep track of medical expenses, car repairs, and any out-of-pockets costs from the accident. If you have experienced serious injuries, you should consider keeping a pain and suffering journal for documentation of your journey back to health.
Call your insurance company once you are safe and have talked to the police. Generally, your claim begins with this call, and your claims adjuster will tell you what they need from you. Keep in contact with your insurance company. If you have to complete extra paperwork, there may deadlines that you don’t want to miss. Know what the insurance will cover to prevent a lot of out-of-pocket expenses that you may be unprepared for. Knowing what to do when the worst happens is a good step to make sure you handle a stressful situation wisely.
To learn more about what to do after an auto accident and to find a car accident lawyer in Wilmington, please click here.
Eric writes often about the legal field. You can find his thoughts at: Weebly blog
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