What To Do After a Car Accident That’s Not Your Fault
No one wants to be involved in a car accident. After the incident, you are probably shaken from the crash. Whether you have injuries or not, you need to legally and financially protect yourself. It does not matter whether the accident was the result of your actions or not. Here is what to do after a car accident that’s not your fault.
Not At-Fault? What To Do After a Car Accident
When you get behind the wheel, you never expect to be involved in an accident. However, accidents happen every day. The Department of Transportation estimates that there are 15,913 accidents per day. These accidents are the fourth preventable cause of death in this country.
Even if you are a safe driver, you must pay attention to the road and other drivers. While it is not a guarantee that you will not have an accident, it can reduce your chances on the road. However, even those cautious motorists will be involved in some type of accident in their lifetime, from fender benders to serious crashes.
Take These Steps
If you have been involved in an accident, you never want to flee the scene of the crash. There are laws against leaving the scene, and you could face criminal charges. You should stay at the crash site until the police or another law enforcement officer arrives. In some cases, the at-fault driver takes off, leaving you with a damaged car. With that, stay on the scene and report this hit and run to law enforcement.
No matter what, you want to remain calm and follow some of these steps.
Write Down Any Information
You might have a great memory, but it is vital to have everything written down. With your adrenaline rushing, you need to jot down all those little pieces of information. Keep a pen and notebook in your glove department to record these details. Don’t trust your mobile phone. While these devices are convenient, they are not the most reliable for tracking this information.
Call the Police
Whether you and your car suffered minor damage or something more severe, call 911. You want to have a report of the incident. Along with that, a police report is an essential piece for those who need to file an insurance claim. Like mentioned before, stay on the scene of the crash and recount the incident to the police.
You might want to move the cars but only do this if they are blocking traffic. Otherwise, remain in your vehicle and leave the hazard lights on until the police have arrived.
Do all accidents require police involvement? Well, it depends. A dent or scratch might not need to be reported in some cases, but many other states require any type of accident to be recorded to law enforcement. If you are unsure, you can always call the police and see if they need to visit the scene.
Exchange Information With the Other Driver
The car accident was not my fault, what to do? If the accident was not your fault, you want to gather the other person’s information. This information can help you recover costs for car repairs and medical bills. Here are some of the other pieces of information that you will want to grab from the other driver:
- Name, address, and phone number
- Insurance company contact information, including policy number
- Driver’s license and plate number
Along with helping you get a faster claim, you might want to hire a lawyer to recover any other damages.
Get Information From Witnesses
Hopefully, there have been witnesses to your accident. However, many drivers will witness an accident and continue on their way. If someone has stopped and offered assistance, you need to gather their contact information. This information can help solidify your case, especially when the accident was not your fault. In addition to that, write down any information you think could be significant, including the officers’ badge numbers and the ambulance’s contact information.
Remember never to discuss the details of the crash with the other driver. You should only speak to medical professionals and law enforcement.
Snap Some Photographs
Today, everyone has a mobile phone with camera capabilities. If the accident was not your fault, you need to take photos of the scene. Snap a few pictures of the cars, weather conditions, skid marks, license plates, and any injuries. If it seems relevant to you, take a photograph. Your insurance adjuster will need this information, so make sure the photos are clear and detailed.
Follow Up With the Police and Insurance Agency
Often, if the accident doesn’t cause any injuries, the police might ask you to file a report at the station. You don’t want to shrug off the accident. Along with that, you need to report the incident with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website. It is essential to have a recorded paper trail.
Visit Your Doctor
For those who are experiencing pain after an accident, you should make a visit to your primary care physician. Sometimes, the injuries don’t show up for several days or weeks. Even if you feel fine, you might want to visit the doctor just for a checkup. Make sure to track all your symptoms, procedures, and medications that are related to the incident.
Should I Call My Insurance If It Wasn’t My Fault?
If the accident was not your fault, you might be reluctant to contact the insurance company. However, you need to know what is covered before you go ahead with car repairs. An adjuster will ensure that the other driver’s insurance will cover some of those costs. With this, you could receive funds faster than if you tried to settle this by yourself.
When To Get an Attorney for a Car Accident
No matter if you were injured or not, you need to contact an attorney. In many cases, you will have problems trying to settle with the other insurance company. With any car accident, there are legal consequences. No matter who was at fault for the accident, you will need to speak to a car crash attorney who can protect your rights and recover your losses.
With these steps, you can protect yourself in the event of a car crash. From documenting the scene to contacting an attorney, make sure to follow all of these steps, especially if you were not at fault for the accident.
If you have been involved in a car accident, you need to speak to an experienced attorney. Make sure to schedule a consultation with our Orlando car accident attorneys to discuss the details of your specific case.