When people think of what they need to do after an accident, most people only think of the driver in the wreck. However, anyone involved in the crash needs to take steps to make sure their losses are compensated for.
After an accident, anyone hurt must reach out to their insurance company as soon as possible. If you fail to contact your insurance provider within the first few days after an accident occurs, your claim may be denied.
Here are some steps that you must take as soon as possible after an accident:
Step 1: Seek medical attention if needed
Seek medical treatment right away. It is important to note that you don’t need to visit the hospital to cover your injuries under your policy. Many people go to family doctors, urgent care centers, and chiropractors for their injuries after a car crash. Ask your insurance provider if they will reimburse you for your medical bills.
If you don’t sustain serious injuries, you may not need to go to a hospital at all. In some cases, your injuries can be treated with over-the-counter medication. However, it is important to note that if your pain becomes worse or lasts for an extended period, you can always go back and get additional treatment.
Step 2: Gather evidence from the accident
Take photos of the accident scene and any injuries you have. Be sure to include close-up shots of any damage to your car. Then, take additional photos from a distance so that it is easier to see how bad the damage is. Gathering evidence is important because it can be difficult to remember your feelings after an accident.
Before your insurance company sends a claim adjuster to meet you, make sure that all evidence from the crash is saved in a safe place. You will need this information when you speak with the adjuster or go to court if necessary.
Step 3: File a claim against the negligent party
If you are injured due to someone else’s carelessness, you may be able to file a claim against the negligent party. If you were hurt while you were in an Uber, you must contact an Uber wreck attorney, so they can help to ensure your rights are protected.
But if you were not in Uber, it is important to file your claim with the negligent party’s insurance company as soon as possible. The insurer will inform you if they intend to pay for your claim, the extent of their investigation into the accident, and what medical evidence they require.
Step 4: Document all of your damages
Once your medical expenses are paid for, you need to document your other losses. You will want to keep track of lost wages if work was missed due to the accident, future medical expenses that may be incurred (for example, physical therapy), property damage, and pain and suffering. If you are unsure how to document your losses, check with your insurance provider for more information.
At this point, you must contact a car accident attorney if you suffered serious injuries in the collision or lost someone close to you because of the crash. A personal injury lawyer can help to ensure your rights are being protected during the insurance claim investigation.
Step 5: Wait for your settlement check in the mail
When all of your losses are documented, you will be compensated for your medical bills and other damages. Then, the negligent party’s auto insurance policy will pay you directly. You are required to sign a release form, which will allow the insurance company to pay you.
If you are unsatisfied with the settlement payment the insurer offers, you must discuss this with your attorney. They may be able to help negotiate a higher amount for your claim. In the meantime, you must begin to save your money so that you know how much money you have to live on while recovering from your injuries.
Step 6: Keep your legal claim active
If the negligent party does not offer a fair settlement amount for your claim or if they deny liability, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. If you did not have health insurance at the time of your accident, you would need to file your claim within two years after the medical bills are paid.
However, if you had health insurance coverage when you were injured in the accident, there is no statute of limitations for filing claims against an uninsured or underinsured motorist. That means that it is important to keep your claim active even if you are waiting for the settlement payment.
Your car is not the only vehicle that needs to be protected after an accident. If you were injured in a crash, it’s important to take steps immediately so that your losses are compensated for and documented properly. The process of filing an insurance claim can seem overwhelming at first glance, but with these tips, hopefully, you’ll feel more confident about getting back on the road again soon.