How To Proceed If You Are Involved In An Accident
A car accident can be a disorienting and traumatizing experience. When such an incident occurs, you may not know what your best course of action is, and immediate missteps can prove to be critical errors when it comes time to file your claim.
At Rehmeyer & Allatt, we help State College accident victims as they seek compensation for accident-related damages. As filing a claim can be a complex and nuanced process, a comprehensive and prepared approach is often beneficial. Here is what you should do in the immediate aftermath of a car accident:
1. Call the police
It cannot be emphasized enough, but contacting the police after any car accident is the most important thing you can do. Too many times, people make the mistake of not contacting the police after a minor car accident because they don’t think there is a need to. By contacting the police, you not only protect yourself from the other driver changing his or her story after the accident, but you also may be required to produce a written police report to your insurance company.
2. Call paramedics immediately if you or anyone else is injured
One of the biggest mistakes car accident victims make is thinking they can “walk it off” or “tough it out.” This is not only extremely dangerous as you may injure yourself further, but it may also preclude you from recovering for injuries that you did not initially realize you suffered because of the shock of the accident. It is extremely important that you immediately seek medical attention after a car accident if you have been injured.
3. Take pictures of the other driver’s car insurance and license
Most of us have cellphones that double as cameras. Even if the other driver says that he or she will take care of everything, take a picture of the other driver’s insurance card and license.
4. Take pictures of the damages
It is important to not only document the damage to your car, but any damage to the other car. Just as significant is to take pictures when there is not any damage to either car, as you want to protect yourself against a potential false claim by the other driver.
5. Report the accident to your insurance company
While the other driver may appear nice or trustworthy, you need to protect yourself first. What most people do not know is that when a car accident is initially reported to the insurance company, the insurance company will ask its insured who was at fault and open a claim against that driver. Even if the car accident was solely the fault of the other driver, you may find yourself in a prolonged claims adjustment process or, worse, a lawsuit.
It is also important to point out that most car insurance policies contain provisions that require a car accident to be reported in a timely manner to obtain coverage. Your failure to timely report the car accident may also impact your ability to recover insurance benefits from your own car insurance company. Timely reporting can also help protect you if the other driver did not have valid insurance.
We Can Help You Avoid A Misstep
Car accidents can quickly become complicated legal affairs. For a lawyer who will work tirelessly on your behalf, call 814-343-0453. Our attorneys can also be reached via email, and we proudly offer to free consultations. Our attorneys serve clients throughout central Pennsylvania.