What to Do After a Motor Vehicle Accident
Getting involved in a motor vehicle accident requires taking immediate steps for your safety and protection. First and foremost, you should obviously contact the authorities, especially if someone was injured, someone was killed or property was damaged. However, there are other things that must be done as well.
Take Down As Much Information As Possible
You need to take down as much information as possible for the sake of our insurance claim, which we will discuss in a tad:
- You need the names, addresses and insurance info of everybody involved in the crash. Also take down the contact information of any witnesses.
- It would help if you could make a sketch drawing of the scene. At the very least, note the street names and the names of any nearby suburbs.
- Make sure you jot down all relevant conditions, such as the time, the date and the road/weather conditions.
- Also jot down notes regarding any conversations you have with people at the scene. Take special note to what the other driver says.
This info is important because you will need it when it comes time to file a claim.
Seek Medical Assistance
This step might in fact precede the previous step, depending on the severity of the accident. Obviously, you need to look out for your health and well-being first and foremost if you suffer a bad injury. Make sure you track any medical treatment you receive.
Chiefly, you need to keep records of how much you spent. Your best bet is to make sure you get copies of every single document the medical professionals give you.
Speak With Your Insurance Company
Make sure you speak with your insurance company, regardless of who was at fault. You never know how other people might react. It is especially important you speak with your compulsory third party (CTP) liability insurance company if you live in a state or territory that requires it.
If you were at fault, then you will be the one liable for all claims. Likewise, if the other driver was at fault, he or she will be liable.
File A Claim
This is the most complicated step. It depends on the type of insurance scheme in your state or territory. Generally, though, you will need to file a complain with your or the other driver’s insurance policy as soon as possible. This is because there is a limited time frame that depends on several factors:
- The date of the accident.
- The type of claim being filed.
- The age of the involved parties.
- The mental status of the involved parties.
Additional Potential Steps
Usually, filing a claim will be the last major step you’ll need to take. Everything else will resolve itself of its own volition. Mind you, make sure you maintain steady contact with the insurance entity throughout the whole process. However, sometimes more steps are required.
Negotiation: With some insurance schemes, you get the option of negotiating the compensation. It is for this reason that you need to correctly track all your bills and payments. You need this evidence to argue your case.
Going To Court: If the other driver is at fault but refuses to admit this, you might need to prove in a court of law that this is indeed the case. Again, you will need as much info as possible. Testimonies from witnesses would especially be helpful.
Make sure you remain calm and act cognizant the whole time. The last thing you want to do after a motor vehicle accident is panic. Instead, remain calm, take down the appropriate information and contact your insurance company ASAP!
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