A car accident is the last thing drivers want to think about because of its devastating consequences. In case someone else caused an accident, you will have a chance to get compensation for vehicle damage, medical bills, and even moral damage.
However, the situation looks so much different in case you are the one who caused the crash. If this happens, you need to know what further steps to take. A lot of drivers mistakenly believe that they will have to pay all covering expenses for the other party’s damages and possible injuries. However, it is not always the case. If you want to learn more about it, just keep reading:
First steps after a car accident
In case you are at fault in a car accident, it is your responsibility to stop and report this accident to the police. If someone is injured, make sure to call 911 and administer first aid to injured drivers and pedestrians before the ambulance arrives.
Never leave the scene of an accident without reporting it to the police first. Being involved in a car collision is scary and stressful. However, a hit-and-run driver will have serious legal consequences.
According to Ed Bernstein, a personal injury attorney in las vegas, legal consequences of such action vary from one state to another. Also, they depend on whether anyone suffered a serious injury or died. Penalties for hit-and-run drivers include a fine, a prison term, and the suspension of driving license for a few years.
It is important to gather information such as time and place of an accident, witness statements, injured drivers’ names, phone numbers, and insurance policy numbers.
Also, take as many photos of the car accident as possible. That’s how you can protect yourself in court and make sure other drivers’ will not come up with different stories than yours. Other than that, ask all witnesses to stay until police arrive at the crash site.
When reporting to the police, don’t say that it is your fault straightaway. All you have to do is to describe what happened without admitting your fault. Police, along with insurance providers, should come to their own conclusions based on facts that you give them. Needless to say, you might be in shock and not able to think clearly, so it is better to stay quiet.
Contact your insurance agent
Your insurance agent should get the information about the accident right after you call the police and ambulance. It is your agent’s responsibility to process your claim and help you gather information at the scene.
Your insurance company should get the following information: police report, collected evidence such as photos, and witness statements.
You might get some compensation from the insurance company. However, it always depends on the type of insurance you have. For instance, if you have collision insurance, the company will help you cover all the expenses after a car accident. Bodily injury liability insurance can cover the medical expenses of you, your passengers, and other drivers who were injured in the car accident.
The comprehensive type of insurance can be helpful in case you have a car accident that doesn’t include other drivers. So, for example, if you hit an animal on the road, your insurance company will pay for your damaged vehicle.
Give it some time
Later on, all you need to do is wait. Your insurance company will take into account a police report, evidence from the scene, and witness statements in order to determine your fault in a car accident.
To make sure your case is treated fairly, consider hiring an attorney who can help you in communication with insurance company adjusters. An experienced lawyer will also be able to help you with collecting evidence and submitting claims.
Hiring a lawyer is a must in case other parties file suit for serious injuries such as significant disfigurement, limitation to use of a body function or system, dismemberment, loss of a fetus, or bone fractures.
Another important thing that you should know is that your insurance premiums will not automatically rise right after an accident. Only in the case of the second car accident, your insurance company might inform you about changes in the contract.
The bottom line
According to the research, car travel is considered more dangerous than flying. That’s why it is crucial to learn what to do in case you are at fault in a car accident. If it happens, you should call the police, help injured drivers, and contact your insurance agent. Consider hiring an experienced lawyer right after an accident.