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While it’s never fun to have a car accident, knowing what to do when one happens can help diminish the stress and anxiety involved. It’s best if you can gather as much information as possible, as soon after the accident as possible.
Provided that you aren’t severely injured, with the immediate concern being hospitalization, you should write down all of the necessary information in a clear and legible manner.
Your auto insurance company will take care of the logistics of the accident claim.
While insurance companies may differ in their approach to getting your vehicle fixed and back to you as seamlessly as possible, working with your insurance agent as needed should ensure a smooth transition.
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At the accident scene, after you’ve called the police, you should do the following:
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Call your insurance agent from the accident scene or right after you get back home after you’ve gathered all of the necessary information.
Just as you’ve documented everything at the accident scene, continue to document any phone calls you have with your agent, the other driver, a lawyer, etc.
Write down their name, phone number, date of the call, topics discussed, and actions necessary.
Read through your policy for reference and ask your insurance agent whether you’re entitled to a rental car and, if so, for how long. Your agent will want to see the damaged vehicle to provide an assessment, as well as any medical reports associated with the accident.
Keep detailed records of expenses for everything associated with the accident, including receipts.
A lawsuit may be necessary if you, or another one of your passengers, have been seriously injured in the auto accident.
Many states require insurance companies to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, whereby the insurance company pays medical coverage regardless of which driver caused the accident.
Depending on coverage and extent of injuries, you may find that you need to sue to recoup all of your medical fees.
Besides medical claims, you may need to sue the other driver for damages to property or belongs that were in the car at the time of the accident.
If the loss of your car, even temporarily, leads to a loss of income, you may also decide to sue to get that money back. In any of these cases, consult with an experienced lawyer for specific handling of your case.
Protect yourself down the road! Make sure you’re never on the receiving end of an auto accident lawsuit by driving safely and insuring your vehicles.
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