Top 5 Questions To Ask After A Car Accident
Sometimes things happen in life that interrupt your daily routine. Unfortunately, this includes auto accidents. When you get involved in an accident, whether you are at fault or not, you may have plenty of questions. What do I do? Who do I contact? What do I ask or explain to whom? What do I do if I’m at fault? With all of these questions swimming around in your head after an accident, the first thing to remember is to avoid the panic of the situation and verify that you are safe and healthy.
After you keep calm and are sure that you and your passengers are alright, there are plenty of answers available for your questions. It might not be a bad idea to copy some of these answers down as a checklist to keep in your vehicle in the event of an auto accident. Knowing the questions to ask after a car accident can help you get the answers you need faster.
After the accident, you must immediately stop, make sure you and your passengers are safe, and contact the other driver. After contacting the appropriate parties of correspondence, keeping in touch with the other party is vital for both drivers involved. While the contact information of the other party will be given to the police for their report, having their information in your hand gives you the option of further correspondence if necessary. The information obtained should include the other driver’s name, address, date of birth, and phone number or email address. You will need their license number and the name of their insurance company. If the owner of the other vehicle is different than the driver, you will need their information as well.
A beneficial extra aspect to include in your glove compartment is a little notebook to take down the aforementioned information. Other notable details to write down include the date and time of the accident, any and all weather conditions, the estimated speed of all involved drivers, and the condition of the road and location of the accident. Make note of any injuries or damage, and if you have a camera or camera phone readily available, take pictures of damages, marks in the pavement, and the entire scene of the accident from all surrounding perspectives.
2.) Who Should I Contact?
Immediately after an accident, your first concern should be for your own health and safety. Verify that you and your passengers are safe, then call 911 and the police. The health and safety of those involved are the primary concerns in the aftermath of an auto accident. When the police are notified, immediately report the accident. While waiting for the police to arrive, contact your immediate loved ones to alert them of the accident and your safety.
After you have given your report to the police and gathered the contact information of all involved, contact your insurance company in regards to the appropriate forms and further reports. After calling your insurance company, contact your personal attorney to determine the next step to take, and convey whether or not you wish to make a claim. If you are not at fault for the auto accident, your attorney can assist you with deciding on the actions to take against the negligent party.
3.) What Do I Do If I’m at Fault?
Accidents happen, and sometimes accidents cannot be stopped from happening. If you are found to be at fault for the accident, you must speak with the police. While speaking about your perspective of the accident, be sure to stick to the facts and be as unbiased as possible. Sending out an aggressive, violent, or blaming vibe may not work out further events in your favor. The police will want their report to be unbiased and factual. Pay attention to the other driver as they speak with the police as well, and write down key points of their report. Sometimes fault can be found with both drivers instead of just one, so your notes about the other party’s perspective may come in handy.
If you get a ticket, be sure to sign it, If you do not sign it, you can be arrested, which will only prolong the aftermath of the accident. Be sure to speak with your attorney before paying any fines or pleading guilty, as the attorney’s familiarity with the laws of your specific area combined with the unique situation of your accident may prove beneficial to you.
4.) What Should I Ask My Personal Attorney?
Calling your personal attorney after an auto accident is one of the first ways to secure your situation in the aftermath of the accident. But what are the best questions to ask your personal attorney? Where do you begin? There are six key questions to ask when meeting with your personal attorney.
The first question to ask is the most asked question after a car accident: What compensation can you expect? Your attorney will be able to make an estimate based on your situation, and as long as you keep your expectations within reason, you may be eligible for compensation.
The second question should be asked if the accident results in you becoming permanently disabled: Will you help me get social security benefits? Your attorney may be able to help you navigate through social security benefits and any other related further action available.
The third question is one of the most important: How will you represent me? Know every detail about the plans your attorney will take. This is the time for you and your attorney to develop a partnership; and a partnership begins with this question.
When do I need to take care of claims or related lawsuits? The answer to this question varies state by state. This is otherwise known as the statute of limitations. In Florida, the duration is four years after an accident; though it may be subject to change based on situation.
What can you do for the compensation of future medical expenses? As you recover, you will find that the medical expenses will continue. You may need further compensation depending on your own unique situation, and your personal attorney will assist you in what you need.
The last question is a great way to end the first interview. What do you need from me? You will then be able to discover what information and documents you need to bring. This question also shows your willing side of the partnership.
After an auto accident, your insurance company is one of the first few phone calls you make. But what specific information do you relay to them? Take a moment to remember the notebook mentioned earlier; bring it back out and relay the details from there to your insurance company. This will help jog your memory, and it will also help your story to be conveyed while avoiding bias. The right details need to be conveyed for a proper report, and it begins with the what, the where, and the when.
The date, time, and events surrounding the auto accident are key points in information that are vital to your insurance claim. Your insurance agent will want to know objective exposition, not opinions, Notes and photographs can help you with this. They will need to know the scene of the accident, even including the weather and road conditions, This thus makes this report similar to the police report. Damage should be reported, as well as the information of those involved, and any witnesses.
When asking your insurance company the questions you need to ask, be sure to take notes. A popular question is “What happens next?” The answer will most likely be the gathering and conveying with the information above, including any documentation of related medical expenses. You can always contact the Department of Insurance if you feel contact has not be adequately upheld.
Another important question is “What will the company pay?” The company will pay either the amount necessary to repair your vehicle or the actual cash value of your vehicle, depending on the lesser alternative. Actual cash value is the market value of the car before the accident occurred.
Be sure to fully understand your insurance policy before you purchase it; this will lessen the amount of questions you may have after an accident. Remember, your insurance agent is there to answer any questions you have regarding your specific policy.
After an accident, there are three things to be aware of: your health, the health of those involved, and whom you contact after the event. By contacting the people that need to know, you create correspondence vital to both your present and your future. When you contact the police, emergency health services, your personal attorney, and your insurance company, you do all you can to ensure the best possible outcome of your situation.
By remembering to stay calm, you can keep yourself in control of an unsavory situation, and you can get all of the answers that you require, An accident is never a welcome event, but with the right information you can not only get the resources you need, but also bring a peace of mind to you and your loved ones.