5 Tips to Handling a Car Accident

By Ryan Nelson

Mistakes I Made When I Got Into A Car Accident And How To Avoid Them

If you are like me and think that an accident will not happen to you, then you are mistaken. On average, nearly 1.3 million people die in vehicular accidents, and another 20 to 50 people are injured every year. This alone should tell you that you are not immune to possibly being in an accident and you will not only be facing property damage but also personal injury. You can minimize the cost to you by making sure you do not make the same mistakes that I made.

Take Photos
The first thing you think of when you have been hit, if you are like me, is how bad is the damage. I did not think to photograph everything about the scene. When it comes to taking photos, you want to make sure you photograph the damage to your vehicle and any injuries you sustained, but also of your surroundings. Pictures show facts that you may not remember later. Take a snapshot from the driver’s seat of your vehicle, and then get out of your car (if it is safe) to take a picture from every corner of your car. If you are not alone, make sure you take a photo of where everyone was sitting in your car and then any injuries they also sustained. These photos will assist in helping support your memory of the accident, as well as what the conditions were when the accident occurred.

Call Police Regardless
In any accident, the police should be notified. Your vehicle may not have any visible damage and you may not feel like anything happened to you, but you may suffer pain later. Just remember that the police report will also act as a record of the accident occurring and they are aware of what will be necessary if the other driver decides to refuse to cover any cost of the damage.

More Information, The Better
There is no such thing as too much information when it comes to a vehicular accident. Your insurance agent will want the name of the other driver, the driver’s license information, the driver’s contact information, and then the insurance company the other driver is using. However, talk to witnesses and take down their contact information as well. The police will also take a report, but you never want to rely on an officer to collect all of the data you feel might be important. When an officer does take the report, ask the officer for his/her name, badge number, and report number if possible. This will allow you to easily get a copy of the report for your personal records when desired.

Let a Physician See You
Even if you have only been involved in a minor fender bender, you should let a physician see you. Your adrenaline will be pumping following an accident, so it is possible for you not to feel sore until a day or two following the accident. Back injuries are one of the most common injuries that occur due to a car accident, but it may take some time for the symptoms to appear, causing the victim to not realize right away. Unfortunately, not visiting a medical professional soon enough may prevent you from qualifying for anything under the Personal Injury Protection from the other driver. If you are in a “no-fault” state, then it is even more important to seek medical attention for an exam because you will have some coverage, even if you are not at fault.

Never Admit Fault
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to admit fault for an accident. If you are like me, it is natural to immediately feel sorry for something bad happening. However, you need to assume that you will go to court over this accident. Remember that a police officer will be taking a report and if they document that you are at fault, it can cost you a lot in the end, especially if you are not at fault for the accident. Let the investigation find the blame and contact a lawyer to make sure your side of the incident is protected.

Accidents are traumatizing and they will cause damage. However, you have control over how much damage will occur by not making these mistakes. Driving can be stressful in any case, but less so when you know you can master some situations with a little planning and preparing for the worst.

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