Car accidents are always scary, and unfortunately, they are pretty common. Chances are, even if you have not been in a car accident yet, you will be in one at some point in your life. When this happens, there are certain protocols you should follow to ensure your own safety and make sure the insurance company covers the damage. Follow these dos and don'ts, and you'll be off to the right start.
Do: Call the police.
If the accident is only a minor fender bender, you can get away without calling the cops as long as the other driver is willing to share their insurance and contact information. If there is anyone injured in the accident -- even if it's just a scrape -- or if the other driver is not willing to hand over their info, call the police immediately. Having an official report will be paramount when it comes time to make an insurance claim.
Don't: Move your car unless necessary.
Pictures of the accident scene as-is may be important for determining who is at fault for the accident. The police will want to see the scene as-is to make this determination, too. The only time you should move your car following an accident is if it is unsafe not to do so. For example, if your car is sitting horizontally across two lanes of traffic in 65 miles per hour zone, you should move it if you can.
Do: Contact an attorney if there are injuries.
Many car accident claims are handled by the insurance companies with few complications. However, there are times when the car insurance company may turn down a claim or refuse to give you as much as you deserve. So, contact an attorney from the get-go when you get in an accident. This way, they can be on stand-by if the insurance company gives you any trouble.
Don't: Throw anything away.
Keep anything and everything related to the car accident, from the bloody clothing you wore that day to the receipt from the bandages you bought. If you do end up filing a lawsuit against the other driver or their insurance company, these items might be needed as evidence. Any receipts will be needed to calculate the amount of money you are owed in compensation.
If you follow the tips above, you will have a much easier time navigating the weeks after a car accident. For more information, contact a business such as Zavodnick, Perlmutter & Boccia LLC.