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Steps to Take Following a Car Accident

Finnegan Pierson
It doesn’t matter how safe or careful you are, car accidents can still happen. After the accident, you may be in shock. You may find it difficult to focus on even the simplest tasks. The first piece of advice that you should adhere to is to remain calm. You have to be able to cope, however, to perform the next steps.

Call the Police

If you or anyone in your car is injured, then you need to dial 911 as soon as possible. If you suspect that someone in the other car is injured, then the same advice applies. Even in accidents where no one is injured, it helps to have an officer on the scene. The police will be the ones that can write up a police report.
If you were not at fault, the police may be able to help you with a future case. Likewise, keep in mind that some injuries may not manifest right away and you may not feel the pain of your injuries initially. It helps to have paramedics there to help you.

Exchange Information

If you are capable of leaving the vehicle or if you are still on the scene, it is important that you exchange information with the other driver. In most cases, you will have to provide your name and your insurance information to the other driver. Likewise, you will have to receive his or her information.
You do not want to carry on too much of a conversation initially. When you talk to the other driver, you may begin to feel guilty or you may pressure the other person into feeling guilt. This can lead to the two of you sharing details that could be used against you.

Gather Evidence

After every accident, it is important that you gather as much evidence as possible. You should take photographs of the scene of the accident and of the vehicles involved. Additionally, if there are witnesses, you should take time to ask the witnesses questions. Say that a car ran through a red light and hit your vehicle. This was not your fault!
Still, you may need the witnesses to prove your case. They can speak to how the accident occurred. In addition, you will want the police report to give to your lawyer.

Call a Lawyer

When you are through with the crime scene, it helps to contact a lawyer. Some choose to contact the insurance company first. It doesn’t matter which you talk to first, but you do need to make sure that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible. An auto accident attorney will be able to tell you whether or not you have a case.
He or she will also be able to inform you on what you should say to the insurance company. Keep in mind that when interacting with insurance companies, anything that you say could end up used against you. A lawyer can help you with what not to say.

Make a Claim

It is crucial that you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Following the claim, you may wind up in negotiations over the settlement. Most auto accident cases settle out of court. The insurance company will offer you a settlement and it is up to you to accept or provide a counteroffer.
When it comes to the settlement, you want to talk to your lawyer throughout the process. He or she will be able to determine what is fair and what is not fair.

Accidents Happen

Auto accidents happen. If it happens to you, you need to know which steps to take to ensure that you receive compensation, if necessary. When you follow these tips, not only can you obtain peace of mind, but you can also ensure that you get the best possible settlement for your case.