Getting into an accident in a motor vehicle is both physically and emotionally devastating. The immediate aftermath of the wreck can leave everyone wondering what to do next. Some people might be in shock. Other folks might get angry at the other people who were involved in the accident.
While there is no set standard for how to address a car accident, there are a few steps you can take to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. This can range from calling your family to tell them you are OK to calling a lawyer to help you negotiate any legal troubles with insurance companies or other victims of the crash.
Free legal advice about auto insurance is available for everyone who needs it on a variety of different websites. A simple search online can give you surprisingly good information. We’ll talk about all these steps and a few other tidbits to help you after an accident.
Call the Police
When you get into an accident, the first thing you need to do is call the authorities. Police and medics will show up on the scene, and you may need both of these parties to resolve the aftermath of the car wreck.
If you’ve suffered any injuries, regardless of severity, the medics will evaluate whether you can go home or whether you need further medical attention.
Be proactive and make sure your health insurance coverage is up to date. Sometimes healthy people who can’t afford health insurance decide to forgo coverage to save money, but this is a risky decision to make. Getting into a car accident is something every person risks when they drive.
What happens after police come to the scene of the accident?
After the authorities have arrived, they should be able to work with you and the other party to make sure there is no arguing in the aftermath of the accident. Many people can get upset at others after an accident.
If the accident was caused by road rage, you may already be in a state of anger. Calming down and evaluating whether everyone is OK is one of the most important things to do right after the accident.
Police can find out everything that happened from the witnesses. They will give advice on where each person can go from there. Afterward, it’s time to call your insurance agent.
Speak to Your Insurance Agent
Having auto insurance is one of the most important things any person who gets into an accident could need. While it is illegal in many states to not have auto insurance, the main reason for being insured shouldn’t be due to fear of getting a ticket.
Auto insurance protects you during the worst times after an incident on the road.
Call your agent right after the accident to verify what your policy covers and how you will move forward with recovering from the accident. Communication is a vital tool every person should use when working with their agent. If there is any lying by either party, it could lead to some messy consequences.
Hire a Lawyer for Disputes
When auto insurance policies are first signed, there is an understanding between both parties you need to stick to your word. If you feel your insurance company is not giving you a fair settlement for an auto accident, you should talk to a car accident lawyer.
It may cost a lot of money to hire an attorney. You should take every step necessary to hash out the misunderstanding with your agent. If there is no agreement between you and your company, a lawyer might be the only option.
The attorney will sometimes try to keep your case out of court, perhaps by going through a third-party arbitrator. This will cost less money and time than court disputes.
If you got into an accident in a company car, you can think about filing a personal injury claim against your employer if they are partially to blame for the accident, perhaps because the company car was unsafe to drive. The employer may have insurance that protects them from these disputes, but car accident attorneys may be able to help get a better settlement.
Talk to Family for Support
Getting into an accident is traumatizing. If you were the only one in the incident, it can feel very lonely right after it happens. Get on the phone and talk to your family right after you call the authorities. They can help you stay calm and relaxed while waiting for the next steps.
Don’t overreact to what happened, as many family members may want to rush down to the scene and see you. Sometimes this increase in people around the accident is not allowed. Police will want to clear the scene and keep everyone who wasn’t involved in the incident out of the way.
If you have emotional distress that continues after your accident, sometimes months or years later, it is important to tell your doctor. They may be able to refer you to a therapist who specializes in PTSD. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you can’t easily forget the accident.
How Car Accidents Affect Your Job
Some people fear driving a car for years after a bad car wreck. With help from a therapist, people may be able to overcome this trauma and go back to their normal lifestyle of driving and going to work.
It’s important not to let the trauma of a car accident take over your life. If you’re relying on a side hustle because you’re afraid to drive into your main job, this may not be a sufficient way to support yourself. Facing your fear of driving might require professional help, but it’s often necessary for your career.
As you can see, there are a lot of steps to take after a car accident. And while there is no exact order they need to go in, the main thing to remember is to stay calm. No amount of anger, distress, or rash reactions is going to take the accident away. It happened, and you need to move on rationally.
Shawn Laib writes and researches for the legal site, FreeAdvice.com. He wants to help people overcome the legal problems they come across after a car accident.