Keep Calm Document Everything For Insurance Claims And Call The Police
by Wendy Helfenbaum, AARP, June 21, 2021
En español | Each year, more than 6 million car accidents happen in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Whether you’ve been in a minor fender bender or a serious collision, you may be too shaken up to think clearly, so it’s important to educate yourself a bit ahead of time. Here’s what to do at the scene and afterward to make the claims process easier.
Talk To A Personal Injury Lawyer From Diamond & Diamond
The attorneys at Diamond & Diamond have decades of experience in personal injury claims. You can visit any of our locations across Canada.
If youre in need of accident assistance, contact Diamond & Diamond via telephone , or fill out an online contact form to receive a free consultation offer via text.
Before your consult, prepare all related documents pertaining to your case, such as:
- A copy of the police report
- Medical records of related injuries
- Insurance claims and coverage policy
- Your personal insurance information and that of the other driver
- Any maps, diagrams, or photos detailing the accident
Recommendations From The Experienced Injury Lawyers Of Cunningham & Mears
At Cunningham & Mears, our accident attorneys understand how traumatic an auto accident is for everyone involved. Not only is the accident itself shocking, but the aftermath is often extremely confusing. Our accident lawyers are dedicated to helping you understand your rights and responsibilities after a car accident to make your recovery easier.
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Call Your Insurance Company
While it may be tempting to negotiate a cash deal to avoid making an insurance claim, not notifying your insurance company after a crash can leave you liable for damages stemming from the accident.
Schipani’s insurance agent pronounced her car a total loss the cost of potential repairs outstripped the car’s value. Then, she learned the driver who had hit her had rock-bottom insurance coverage.
“They said it was possible to try to extract money from him, but it would be better for them to handle the claim, she says. My advice is to never leave the scene even for a minor fender bender without a police report, especially if it’s clearly and obviously not your fault.
In cases like Schipani’s, your insurance claims professional can help you navigate your options.
“If the other person’s insurance isn’t sufficient to cover your damages, your insurance professional can check your policy for any coverage that might address that, Luna says.
For example, if your insurance company deems you were not at fault, it may have a liability waiver so you don’t pay your deductible.
A Quick Overview Of The Sunshine States No
Florida requires all vehicle owners to have personal injury protection insurance. The PIP coverage should be at least $10,000, which will pay for medical costs and lost wages. Motorists should also carry property damage liability coverage of at least $10,000.
These policies should cover motorists regardless of who caused the traffic accident. However, they only protect the policy owner and not the other party involved in the crash.
That said, your own PIP and PDL will cover you if you get in a car accident thats not your fault. But if its a case of negligence in a car accident, you may be able to sue the at-fault driver.
One example is if one of the drivers sustained permanent injuries due to the crash. At-fault drivers may also be liable if their negligence caused traumatic brain injuries.
Now that you know a bit more about how auto insurance works in the state, heres what you should do right after a car crash.
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Auto Body Repair Shops
Under California Insurance Code §758.5 an insurance company cannot require that an automobile be repaired at a specific repair shop. However, an insurance company can recommend that an automobile be repaired at a specific repair shop under the following conditions outlined by law:
- The consumer specifically requests a recommendation from the insurance company to a repair shop.
- The consumer has been informed in writing of the right to select a repair shop of his or her choice.
- If the consumer agrees to use the recommended repair shop, the insurance company must restore the damaged vehicle to its condition prior to the accident or loss with no additional cost other than as stated in the policy or as otherwise allowed by law.
- If the company makes an oral recommendation to a repair shop, and it is accepted by the consumer, then the company must follow the oral recommendation with the prescribed written notice within five calendar days as specified by law.
If the vehicle is repaired in a shop chosen by the consumer, then the insurance company must pay the reasonable costs to repair the vehicle made in accordance with accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike automotive repairs.
Get Yourself And Your Vehicle Out Of Danger
If you’re not injured and the accident was minor, carefully drive your car to the side of the road so it doesn’t impede traffic. Keep your hazard lights on and set up flares or reflective emergency triangles to alert other drivers to slow down. However, if the crash is more severe or if anyone is hurt, leave the vehicles where they are.
Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured, be extra careful when getting out of your car, especially if the accident took place on a highway or busy street. You may not be thinking logically, which could put you in danger.
A Quick Overview For Our Spanish Readers So You’ve Had An Accident What Next
Contact Tate Law Offices Pc Today
Tate Law Offices, P.C., has successfully handled thousands of car, motorcycle, and truck accident cases in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and throughout the State of Texas. Our knowledgeable car accident attorneys can help you.
Tate Law Offices, P.C., will provide a NO COST evaluation of your case. In addition, we handle accident cases on a contingency basis this means you will have no upfront legal costs or fees. We are only paid if we collect a settlement for you. at 888-769-1089 today to discuss your case with one of our expert Dallas car accident lawyers.
- Meet Our Personal Injury Attorneys
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Write Down Information About Weather Road Conditions Along With Time And Place Of The Accident As Soon As Possible
You want to be able to provide as much information about the conditions surrounding your accident as possible. The sooner you do this, the more likely it is that you will remember more details. This helps your broker or insurance company, and the police, to understand the circumstances around the car crash.
Stop And Notify Police
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Do Not Stand In The Road
- Do not stand in between vehicles while exchanging information. Get off the roadway to a safe place to avoid further incidents. There have been many incidents where someone has had a very minor mishap, and is standing on the road exchanging information and are then injured or even killed by a passing vehicle that has crashed into the stopped vehicles or people.
- Note that if you leave the scene of the accident without reporting to the police and/or exchanging information with the other parties, you may be charged under the Motor Vehicle Act or may be held in breach of your contract of insurance with ICBC. The later result could cost you thousands of dollars when ICBC comes to you for the money they pay out under a claim.
- Of particular note, if you are in a single vehicle accident, especially at night, the last thing you should do is walk from the scene. ICBC will assume you have something to hide like impaired driving and may breach you of your contract of insurance. The better approach is to call the police and wait for their instructions.
Crucial Steps To Take After A Car Accident In Florida
If youve been involved in a car accident in Florida, you should be prepared with what to do immediately following. Heres 5 crucial steps to follow.
Did you know that in Florida alone, there are over 15 million licensed drivers?
Thats right! Whats more, there are also 570,000 registered motorcycles in the state!
With those many vehicles, its no wonder that car accidents are quite common in the Sunshine State. In fact, in 2017, Florida had a whopping 388,032 road crashes.
That said, its vital that you know what to do in case you get into a car accident in Florida. Especially since the state implements a no-fault law.
Dont worry though, as thats exactly what well explain in this post. Keep reading to learn what you should do right after a car crash in Florida!
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When Do You Need To Report An Accident In Ontario
In Ontario, every vehicle accident must either be:
According to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, failure to report the accident can be considered leaving the scene of a car accident and you may be subject to a fine, licence suspension or even a jail sentence.
Things You Should Do If Youre In A Car Accident
Auto accidents happen every day they even happen to otherwise safe, defensive drivers. After an accident, you may be confused, angry, and hurt, but its important to keep a level head so that you can stay safe and carefully document the details of the accident. The steps you take after an accident can have a serious impact on safety, insurance claims, and more, so its important that you get it right. Make sure youre taking care of these important tasks if youre involved in a car accident even a minor one.
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Cooperate With Emergency Personnel
Be polite, but never take fault for causing the accident, even if you think it might be. This will be decided between insurance agents, so you dont want to tip anyone off before a claim is made. The officer may speak to any witnesses first, to try and establish who may be at fault and what caused the accident. He or she will then take statements from the drivers of the vehicles involved in the accident.
Depending on the circumstances, the officer may conduct a sobriety test, issue a traffic ticket or citation, or may need to call or assist in roadside cleanup or traffic directing.
What To Do After A New York Car Accident
If you have been involved in a car accident in New York City, and the surrounding areas, it is important that you know beforehand the best way to handle the situation.
New York State law requires certain actions to occur, and insurance companies have the right to reject claims if certain steps are not taken in the correct order after an accident.
If you have any questions regarding your accident or need guidance from a competent Brooklyn personal injury lawyer, contact the law offices of Jay S. Knispel, LLC today for a free consultation regarding your situation.
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Being In A Car Accident No Matter How Big Or Small Deserves The Same Attention
Remember, the first thing to do after a car accident is to call for emergency services. Once the police arrive, you can take stock of your situation and follow the steps to take after a car accident noted above. Being even minorly injured is cause enough for a trip to the ER and always err on the side of caution after an accident. We absolutely understand an accident can be anywhere from a sheer inconvenience to a life-altering event.
For our firm, all cases deserve the same amount of attention and level of effort towards achieving maximum compensation for our clients. Thats why weve developed a complete guide for what to do after an accident in Florida. Download it to your phone or print it and put it in your glovebox. When youve been involved in an accident anywhere on the Florida roadways, our firm is available to walk you through all of your options to help you get every bit of compensation available to you under the law.
Important Steps To Take After A Car Accident In Florida
Several important actions should be taken immediately after you have been involved in a car accident in the Sunshine State. State law 316.062 requires you to give your information to either the other driver or an officer. If no officer is present and the other party is not in a condition to take your information, by law you are then required to self-report the incident to the nearest police precinct.
Following the procedures below makes sure youre protected, supports your car accident claim, and overall, will strengthen your case.
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Gather Information About The Car Accident
In all motor vehicle accidents, its vital that you gather as much information as possible. Having an accurate set of details regarding the situation will aid you at later court dates and when contracting a lawyer.
Take photos of your car and the scene. Get pictures of the other vehicle. Try your best to relate the sequence of events that led to the crash and clearly demonstrate where the cars collided.
You may want to draw a map or diagram of the scene as additional documentation. Note the date and time, all license plate numbers, witnesses involved, and the location of the accident. Finally, request the witnesses contact information.
Create A Detailed List Of The Accident
While waiting for the police, list down what you can remember before the accident. For instance, try to remember the direction you were coming from before the other driver hit you. Was the traffic light green, red, or yellow?
Did you notice the other driver swerving, speeding, or any other symptoms of DUI? Maybe youve seen the other driver operating the vehicle while using a mobile phone. In this case, the other driver would have already been in breach of Senate Bill 76.
In case of a hit and run, list down everything you can remember about the other vehicle. The most important are the make, model, year, color, and plate number. Even small details, like stickers or bumper dents, will help the police find the culprit.
If the other driver stayed put at the scene, exchange vehicle and insurance details with them. List down the make, model, year, vehicle identification number, and license plate number. Ask for the complete name, address, date of birth, contact info, and license number of the other driver.
If the driver isnt the owner of the car, ask for the vehicle owners complete name and contact details. Be sure to ask the police officers for their name, contact details, and badge number too.
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