[INFOGRAPHIC] What To Do After a Car Accident
Let’s face it, car accidents can happen anytime…and they can be quite expensive. Collecting the right information and evidence is crucial to help your car insurance company determine fault and therefore issue the correct charge to the right person. At-fault drivers have to pay for the damages of their own vehicle as well as the damages of the other party involved (car damages and hospital bills if the other party incurs any injuries). An innocent person who was not even at fault can easily be taken advantage of without proper evidence.
Here are some tips on what to do after a car accident to protect yourself from fraudulent claims.
1. Collect evidence
It is very important to collect video evidence and to take a lot of photos to help your insurance company determine fault. Start collecting video evidence right away before you get out of the car. Record the accident scene and never admit fault. If the other party admits fault, it will be recorded on video and they cannot lie about it later. Be diligent about recording and taking photos of anything useful to help the insurance company determine fault, such as skid marks and damage from multiple angles.
Search for any security/traffic cameras near the scene and try to get the footage. Cameras that recorded the incident can help you in situations where the driver tries to blame you for the accident. Imagine if you were driving by yourself and the only other people that witnessed the accident were in the other party’s car. Video footage can easily exonerate you from liability if the video evidence clearly shows you are not at fault.
2. Call the police and file a police report
You should call the police and file a police report, especially if the crash is causing problems to other drivers on the road. It should also be noted that your insurance company will first look to see if a police report is filed and base your case off it.
Filing a police report can also protect you from the other party giving you false information. The other person involved in the car accident is less incentivized to give you fake information and run if the police are involved. The other party must also provide insurance information to the police and you will also receive a copy of the report. Getting the police involved can decrease the likelihood of fraudulent claims.
3. Visit the doctor
Be sure to visit a doctor as soon as you can. Just the fact that you have a record of you visiting the doctor is important when negotiating with your insurance, even if they did not find anything wrong.
Here is a helpful infographic by Harlow, Adams & Friedman P.C. outlining what to do right after a car accident and protect yourself from fraudulent claims.
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