While many questions about the incident may initially be looming after a car accident occurs, there are steps that drivers must take while on the scene. There could be injuries, some of which may be severe, and everyone’s emotional state is in flux. As a result, it’s critical for you to think clearly and follow this top five list after a car accident.
1: Remain on the accident scene
It’s against the law and considered a hit-and-run criminal charge if you leave the scene of an accident before you’re cleared to do so by authorities. This is especially the case if the accident involves serious injuries or fatalities. While you’re on the scene, check to see if any driver or passenger is in need of medical attention.
2: Contact the authorities
Under most circumstances, calling 911 or another emergency line is protocol if damage or injuries occur during an accident. While waiting for the ambulance or police to arrive, exchange insurance information with the other driver and take pictures of the damage. If witnesses are present, speak to them as well.
3: Obtain valuation for property damage
Your insurance company will provide you with a damage valuation. There are situations where the insurance company has improperly valued vehicles, and you don’t have to accept their report. You can obtain estimates or quotes from independent repair companies and present them to your adjuster. If you’re unable to reach an agreement for the value of your vehicle, you may wish to consider contacting an attorney.
4: Don’t settle too early
If the insurance company comes to you with an early settlement offer, be wary. Sometimes it takes days, or even months, for injuries to show up or reach their most intense level of discomfort. Therefore, it’s essential that you don’t settle until you’re sure you’ll receive compensation for every injury.
5: Consult with an attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident and have questions about what steps you need to take following your accident, contact an attorney at Leiberman, Ryan & Forrest, LLC. With more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law, specifically representing victims injured in vehicle accidents, we are dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights and fighting for full and fair compensation.