Car accidents are more common than anyone would like to admit.
Every year, almost 1.35 million people die in accidents on the road. Accidents are also responsible for anywhere from 20 to fifty million non-fatal injuries per year. For individuals ages five to 29, injuries resulting from an auto crash are the most common cause of death.
If you’ve landed here today, you’ve managed to avoid a fatal crash—but that doesn’t mean there’s not a long, legal road ahead of you. When you get in an accident by no fault of your own, you may be wondering how to proceed.
Do you need to sue the other driver? What steps should you take? Do you need an attorney?
We explain below.
First, Call the Authorities
Whether your crash was a minor fender bender or a more major accident, police presence is necessary.
Police can fill out accident reports that act as evidence if your auto crash requires legal assistance. These official reports act as references and explain factors of the crash like who’s at fault, the time and date of the accident, the extent or presence of any injuries, the state of the drivers, and more. The information acquired during these reports is invaluable moving forward with any claim, as they hold the proper individuals accountable.
Police can also acquire medical assistance in case there are any injuries.
Next, Contact Your Insurance Agency
Another way to protect yourself after an accident that wasn’t your fault is to call your auto insurance provider. Doing so may safeguard your finances, in case the other driver attempts to file a claim against you.
If you’re not at fault, your insurance company can help you recover damages. The amount you get depends on the coverage you have—comprehensive, collision, liability, uninsured or underinsured motorist, etc.
When you contact your insurance agent, be sure to have all the information from the police report, including details like the location, your speed at the time of the accident, the weather conditions, road conditions, and any other identifying information.
Finally, Get Legal Assistance If Necessary
If you’ve been involved in an auto crash that wasn’t your fault, you’ll likely need to hire an attorney.
When looking for a lawyer, consider some of the following factors:
- Do they offer free consultations?
- Are they transparent about fees and costs?
- What is their availability?
- What is their area of expertise? Do they specialize in injury cases?
- How much experience do they have? How much money have they recovered?
The more information you have for your attorney, the better. That’s why the first two steps—contacting authorities and then your insurance provider—are so crucial. They help you build a case, should you need to file a claim against the driver at fault (for injuries, property damage, auto damage, etc.).
Don’t Let an Auto Crash Wreck You
A car accident is stressful enough as it is—don’t make it more difficult on yourself by neglecting to take the above steps.
Filing an accident report with the police, speaking with your insurance provider about your policy, and contacting an attorney can make the situation much more manageable. When in doubt, seek out the help of professionals.
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