A vehicle accident is a shock, even if it’s just a minor fender-bender. The collision causes serious damage to the vehicle or causes injury to the driver and passengers. After an accident, certain measures can help you file a claim with your personal insurance to cover lost earnings, medical expenses and other losses.
- Step One: Injuries? Call 911.
Carefully check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If someone in your vehicle is injured, call 911 immediately so emergency services can be dispatched to the scene.
- Step Two: Move to a safe location.
In the event of a minor collision, move your vehicle to the side of the road to avoid the risk of another collision. If the accident is more serious, leave the vehicle in place and go to the side of the road or the pavement if possible.
- Step Three: Stay calm, wait for help.
It may take some time before the emergency services or the police arrive. Stay calm and provide basic care to the casualty, applying pressure to bleeding wounds with a piece of clothing.
- Step Four: Exchange information.
Exchange insurance information with other drivers in the car accident. Don’t discuss who was at fault or what happened.
- Step Five: Take Pictures.
Use your phone to take pictures of the vehicles, skid marks on the road, license plates and your injuries. These photos can be critical as evidence when filing a claim.
- Step Six: Get eyewitness contact information.
Obtain contact information (name, address, telephone number) of any witnesses to the collision who have stopped to render assistance.
- Step Seven: Undergo a full medical evaluation.
The adrenaline released into your system during a car accident dulls the sensation of pain. You may feel fine, but in a day or two you may be suffering from the effects of the collision, experiencing intense pain, severe bruising, or worse. Tell the doctor who comes to you that you were in a car accident so that the information is entered on your chart and the proper tests are performed.
Car accident recovery and your personal insurance
Recovering from car accident injuries can be a long and painful process. Even if you are entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company, the amount paid in a settlement may be much less than you need, especially when the injuries affect your ability to work and support yourself. That’s when your personal insurance can be a lifesaver.
Personal insurance and car accidents
The driver responsible for the collision may have minimum limits on their insurance, or in some cases the driver is uninsured, or leaves the scene never to be found. Your personal insurance can provide you with the finances you need during your recovery. Personal injury insurance, or “personal injury protection” (PIP), provides coverage for the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and other losses after a car accident.
No-Fault Personal Insurance
These policies have the advantage of providing coverage regardless of who was at fault. If you were a passenger in a car accident and have personal insurance, your medical bills and other losses will likely be covered, based on the terms of the policy.
If you do not currently have personal insurance, or if you would like to find a better policy, see one of our local insurance agents.