Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience even if it's relatively minor. While you might feel scared and confused after an accident, it's important that you don't freeze up. To protect your rights following a car accident, you need to make several important phone calls as soon as possible.
Many people try to avoid involving the police in an accident. The thinking is to give the driver who was at fault a break and to keep both drivers' insurance rates from going up. Don't do this!
Most states have laws requiring a police report for any accident with property damage. Failing to file a report could result in being charged with a crime, and insurance companies may not pay out a claim when the required report wasn't filed.
As a safety matter, you should call the police and tell them where you are before you even get out of your car. Between road rage incidents and criminals staging a fender bender to rob unsuspecting drivers, you can never be too careful.
Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company almost certainly has a deadline by which you must file a claim to receive benefits. This could be several days, weeks, or even a couple of months, but don't wait.
For accidents that are more than a slow speed fender benders, insurance companies often like to send an investigator to the scene before it's cleared. This lets them take high-quality photographs, gather witness statements, and collect other evidence that you can use if you have to go to court.
Make your insurance company your second call after the police.
Even if you don't feel hurt, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can. Injuries like whiplash and soft tissue injuries can take weeks or months to develop.
However, if you weren't diagnosed right after your accident, your claim may be denied on the grounds that your injury could have been caused by something else. More importantly, a delay in treatment could damage your long-term health.
A Personal Injury Lawyer
Soon after an accident, your insurance company will probably offer you a settlement check. If you were injured, the check will probably be worth far less than you're entitled to collect.
Talk to a lawyer before accepting a settlement, because accepting a settlement means you can't collect more in the future.
To learn more, contact a local personal injury attorney like Diane Parsons car accident lawyer in Toronto today.