Information to get and steps to follow if you've been in a car accident.
Try as we might, there are some situations in life that we just can't avoid, with vehicle accidents being a prime example; and, knowing what to do after a car accident is vitally important. With the adrenaline pumping and your nerves frayed, it can be easy to get overwhelmed, which is why it helps to have a simple, easy-to-follow checklist of how to handle the problem. Whether you are responsible for an accident or are on the receiving end, you need to take steps to ensure that you get the help you need, both from law enforcement and your insurance provider.
Even if you are the only person involved in an accident, there are certain things you need to take account of before filing a claim with your insurer. However, there are a few extra Ts to cross and Is to dot when another party is involved. Regardless of whether it is a minor fender bender on your prize BMW 4 Series or a total write-off collision, there are several things you need to take care of.
Put another way, here is a quick guide on what not to do after a car accident:
Of course, there are times when you will be involved in an accident with another car. And, while the information above still applies, there are other factors you'll need to take into account. Regardless of who you think is at fault, you will need to pay special attention to certain points and ensure that you have more detailed records of the ordeal. Here is what to do after a car accident:
After you have followed all the steps above and submitted a claim to your insurance provider, you may feel a little powerless. You are well within your rights to ask the company how their insurance claims process for car accidents work, but here is a quick breakdown of how insurance and car accidents generally work, and what you can expect to happen.
Firstly, never admit to anyone, not even your insurance company, that you were at fault in an accident. Regardless of how guilty you feel, the fallout from such an admission could be far worse than you expect. Instead, let them determine liability.
If you are indeed found to be at fault, your insurance will be responsible for covering you and possibly the other motorist if they claim third-party reparation. If the crash was someone else's fault, one of two things will happen:
How long car accident settlement negotiations take will differ from case to case, but the average time is between 15 and 90 days. Naturally, you can expect faster turnaround times with more detailed information.
While you may never know what to expect each time you get out on the road, being prepared for any eventuality is certainly helpful. The most important thing is to keep your wits about you and remain calm. This is not always easy, especially if someone gets hurt or your car gets totaled, but there is no reason to suffer twice. Just grit your teeth and follow the steps provided and you'll be able to put the whole ordeal behind you a lot faster and get your claim processed without a fuss.
Regardless of the seriousness of the accident, the basic steps still remain the same.
In most US states, you are required to get insurance when you buy a car. However, if the damages are extremely minor, it is not unusual for motorists to settle matters among themselves and pay out of pocket. If you do not have insurance and are not at fault in an accident, you can try to claim from the other motorist's insurer, but you will likely need to take on the services of an attorney to do so.
Even if you are at fault, your insurer should still pay out so long as the damages are in accordance with the insurance coverage for a car accident in your policy. However, repeated at-fault claims can lead to higher deductibles and rejected claims. Naturally, your premium will increase according to your risk profile.
If you are not at fault in an accident, there should be no changes to your premium, even if you claim for repairs. However, you will need to ensure you follow your provider's guidelines with regard to no-fault accidents. This may include reporting the accident within a set time frame.