Car accidents are traumatizing, costly, and daunting, to say the least. Unfortunately, road accidents are a leading cause of death and catastrophic injury worldwide, and it’s no secret that the roads are dangerous.
Even though there are several ways to enhance your safety as a driver and reduce your risks of an accident, like being vigilant, opting for defensive driving lessons, and keeping your car well maintained, accidents are sometimes unavoidable. Unfortunately, this is because you can’t control how other road users drive.
Nevertheless, if you have been involved in an accident, you must take specific vital steps to claim compensation.
Step 1: Remain Calm And Check For Injuries
There’s no doubt that car accidents are emotionally overwhelming situations. But even so, it’s critical to remain as calm as possible.
Check yourself, your passengers, and anyone else involved in the collision for injuries. If anyone is injured, it’s important not to attempt to move them out of the vehicle. Instead, call an ambulance right away and follow any instructions given by paramedics on the phone carefully.
Step 2: Contact The Authorities
While you wait for the paramedics, contact the local authorities. The police must write up a report of the collision, and you will also need a case number; these are essential for your claim.
Do not move your vehicle unless it is possible to do so and the car is blocking traffic or risking a vehicle pile-up. More often than not, it’s best to avoid moving your vehicle if possible.
Step 3: Photograph The Accident Scene
Next, use your smartphone camera to photograph the accident scene. Photographic evidence is crucial for an insurance claim of this nature. Be sure to photograph all vehicles involved and any debris on the ground.
In addition to this, photograph any injuries on yourself or your passengers. The photographs must be clear and time-stamped to be valid for your compensation claim.
Step 4: Collect Insurance Information
It’s also essential to gather the other driver’s insurance information and offer yours, even if you were not at fault. Collect the name and identity number of the driver, and try to get the vehicle registration as well.
This information will help your lawyer or insurance company locate the other driver if an investigation shows you are not at fault.
If the responsible driver is frantic and verbally or physically violent, it’s essential to stay calm and await the arrival of the authorities. Refrain from saying anything that might be used against you, and try to calm the situation if possible.
On the other hand, if the responsible driver has fled the scene, this step is not relevant. Authorities will try and locate the driver; if they cannot, you can claim from your own insurance company.
Step 5: Visit The Emergency Room
Even if you did not sustain any visible injuries during the collision, it’s still crucial to visit the emergency room for a medical checkup. You may have sustained hidden injuries, like whiplash, internal bleeding, concussion, spinal injuries, and soft tissue injuries.
Your doctor will be able to spot these injuries, but you might not.
A medical record is essential if you need to claim for these injuries. You must also conform to any recommended treatments to receive compensation for physical injuries sustained in the accident.
Step 6: Consult An Accident Lawyer
Even though you have gathered all the evidence and weren’t at fault, it’s still best to rely on legal representation when claiming compensation.
Working with a car wreck lawyer in WV is the best way to secure the most compensation after a car accident. Insurance companies are well-known for offering low settlement offers, and you can expect the responsible driver to enlist their own legal protection.
Step 7: Negotiate The Settlement Offer
It’s common practice for the first settlement offer to be low when it comes to car accident claims, as mentioned above. As a result, it’s essential not to settle for the first offer, especially if it’s far below a fair amount.
Rely on your lawyer to negotiate a higher amount, and be patient. If you have collected all the relevant evidence listed above and you have chosen the right accident lawyer, you can be confident you’ll receive a fair compensation payout.
Car accidents are daunting and devastating, and filing a compensation claim can be time-consuming and stressful. However, by opting for legal protection and following the steps listed above, you can rest assured your claim will be dealt with fairly.