We know that after a car accident, the scene can be scary and you may be a little rattled, but this is the most important time to remain vigilant and take the proper steps to protect your rights from the beginning. Understandably, one of the first calls you might make is to your loved ones to let them know you’re alright but, after that, who else do you call after a car accident?
Here are the five people and places to call immediately after and in the weeks following a car accident. The order of these calls may vary depending on the circumstances of your crash and the injuries you sustain, but it is in your best interest to call each of these as soon as possible. Contact us to learn more.
#1: An ambulance and/or the police
While you are still at the scene of the car accident, the most important item to take care of first is if there are any injuries to yourself or the other party. If the other party is injured and cannot make the call for an ambulance themselves, then you have an obligation to call on their behalf and vice versa.
Also, many states require you to call law enforcement after an accident if there are any injuries or if there is a certain amount of property damage, but it’s always best practice to call the police after any collision—even minor ones. This is not only because it’s easy to underestimate the damage, but you’ll also want an official accident report to be filled out which could be helpful to your case. Stick around until the police have asked you all pertinent questions and they have dismissed you.
#2: A doctor
In most cases, it is not necessary to go to the emergency room straight from the scene of the accident, but that does not mean you do not need to see a doctor as soon as possible. Some conditions might not make themselves apparent until days or even weeks after the crash, so it is important to schedule an appointment with a doctor of some kind.
Which doctor you call is entirely up to you. For a general checkup, you may call your primary care physician who will do an overall body check. On the other hand, if there is something in particular that is bothering you and in need of attention after the accident, then you may call a doctor who specializes in that type of injury. For example, if you suffered an injury to the shoulder in a T-bone accident, you may call an orthopedic doctor who specializes in treatment and surgery for shoulder injuries of all kinds.
Not only is calling a doctor important to your health, but their word is also crucial evidence to your injury claim. Do not delay in getting an appointment as soon as possible.
#3: The at fault party’s insurance
When the other party caused the crash, you must call their insurance company and inform them that you have been involved in a collision with one of their policyholders. The information they may ask includes your name and the at-fault driver’s name, policy ID number, driver’s license number, and /or their license plate number. They may have other questions for you, but it is important to remember that anything you say can be used against you, therefore, keep the conversation brief and to the point.
Do not volunteer information or extensively answer questions about your injuries, medical treatment, your own insurance company, or your other insurance claims until you have spoken with an attorney.
#4: Your own insurance
Many people are reluctant to call their insurance company after a car accident—even if it wasn’t their fault— because they’re afraid their insurance premiums will increase. This is not always true. First of all, simply alerting your own insurer is not the same thing as filing a claim. When you file a claim for injury or property damage, only then may you face a rate adjustment, but simply telling them is no loss to you.
Overall, it is good practice to call and report the accident to your own insurance because:
- You most likely have signed an agreement that requires you to do so – If you don’t follow this rule, you may face penalties or the insurance company has the right to deny you coverage.
- Your insurance may be able to help – When you make a report with your own insurance, it can be used as evidence, helping your personal injury claim. Furthermore, since claims can take months to finalize, your own insurance company may be able to help you obtain immediate repairs.
#5: A personal injury lawyer
Calling a personal injury lawyer, like Amanda Hayden, as soon as possible after a car accident that wasn’t your fault can help you avoid taking missteps throughout the rest of your claim.
One of the primary benefits of getting a car accident lawyer involved is so that they can handle communication on your behalf from the beginning. For example, speaking with the at-fault insurance company opens up the possibility of you saying something that could be used against you. So when you have a lawyer make this call for you, the insurance company knows that they cannot get away with using their tactics to get you to settle for less than your claim is worth.
Furthermore, a personal injury lawyer will file all paperwork to kickstart the claim, ensure that everything moves in a timely fashion, and advocate on your behalf for the maximum compensation.