According to the National Safety Council, in 2021, motor vehicle accidents injured 5.4 million people. Facing the aftermath of a car accident can be a daunting experience, especially when seeking compensation for damages incurred.
Taking the right steps following an accident may help make it easier when pursuing a claim for damages.
Gather pertinent information
After an accident, record details like the names and contact information of all involved parties, along with their insurance providers. Note the date, time and location of the accident, as well as any weather conditions or traffic signs.
Document the scene
Take clear photographs of the accident scene, emphasizing the positions of the vehicles and any visible damage. These images can serve as evidence in supporting your claim for damages.
Obtain witness statements
If there were any witnesses to the accident, ask for their accounts of what transpired. Their statements can provide independent perspectives that may strengthen your case.
Seek medical attention
Even if injuries seem minor at first, seek medical attention promptly. A healthcare professional’s evaluation can identify hidden or latent injuries, and their documentation will serve as evidence.
Keep a detailed record of expenses
Maintain a meticulous record of all expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, vehicle repairs and any other out-of-pocket costs. This documentation will demonstrate the extent of your financial losses.
Notify insurance companies
Promptly inform your insurance company about the accident. Provide them with the necessary details and documentation. Be honest and accurate in your statements to ensure a smooth claims process.
Initiate communication with the at-fault party’s insurance
Contact the insurance company of the party responsible for the accident. Provide them with the same information you shared with your own insurance company.
Consider mediation or small claims court
If negotiations with the insurance company do not yield satisfactory results, explore alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or, for smaller claims, filing a case in small claims court.
By following these steps diligently, you can navigate the process of seeking damages after a car accident with confidence and clarity. Remember, patience and attention to detail are key in achieving a fair resolution.