The first thing most people think of is the car and, after that, the damage. For anyone working on their vehicle or for family members who have taken care of it independently, their car can be a frustrating process. You either get tired or want to know more about your car, so I suggest that you take some time out to learn more about your vehicle to better prepare to repair or rebuild its original state if needed.
My friends Michelle LaCie LaRuell and Mark O’Mara have worked in my area as owners of cars and motorcycles for years and have been trusted drivers for them. Their knowledge and safety have saved many lives, and their advice in this article is based on their experience and how they understand things regarding motor vehicles.
They recommend the following items after an accident involving a motor vehicle:
Get back to the store and look for personal belongings from the car. This includes a spare tire, jack, etc. Take all the receipts from your insurance company, show proof of insurance, license, or registration number, and put the information into a computer system because you cannot legally get that information back, even if you could drive it yourself. It gets stored in the cloud in case of theft, and if your vehicle was in a ditch or a culvert, that would not have been safe for you to drive, so you need to find a reliable place for those records. Don’t attempt to start the engine yet. If you did get started, it needs to cool down before you go to work or school, so have the car sit for at least 30 minutes until you get it started. Your vehicle will likely burn itself up quicker than you could expect, and if it doesn’t cool the way you want it to, there will probably be damaged parts. Have someone come with you during the recovery to help you determine if there was any other damage done.
Call 911 for assistance. These people are trained in emergency medical situations. They would be able to come to your rescue if there was a fire or other injury to your vehicle or an accident with injuries reported in the police report. They help you file a claim to obtain compensation for your pain and suffering if needed after the accident. There are several claims available, so if one gets filed by a person who has been hurt in a crash, they offer a lump sum compensation package for physical and emotional pain and suffering, medical expenses, property loss, and legal assistance costs. Injured persons need a lawyer to represent them, while some claim benefits depend upon the severity of the injuries. With these types of accidents, you might not be covered for medical expenses and lost property. Be prepared to give interviews, and you may get questioned by police, the State Police Department, accident investigators, or others you have never met before in your life. Some people may feel it necessary to pay $20,000 or more to resolve these types of claims because they don’t want to lose their vehicle as well as they did when they were the driver and/or passenger. However, all you need is some time down the road to settle your claim, and with proper documentation, you and your insurance company will both get a return you will be grateful for.
Hire an attorney. Attorneys work for free on a contingency basis and will only charge you the total, not the contingency fee. You can choose to keep the attorney you select, but you can also choose to work with a different attorney not affiliated with your law firm. An attorney will often negotiate the price for their clients, so it’s essential to use good judgment and discretion when choosing what to do and not to agree to anything until you have done your due diligence. A successful claim by injured passengers will lead to compensation for the person money and has suffered from the accident or injury. Depending on who caused the accident and who is at fault, you may even get compensation if the person is found guilty of causing the accident in court. All you need is some time down the road to reach your settlement or trial, and you will have enough knowledge to handle any disagreements. Get information before you go into debt. Auto crashes are not uncommon, and people in the business and transportation industry are sometimes forced to use their assets to save themselves or the company. Most car accidents result from drivers’ bad habits, but a lot of accidents involve the careless driving of an individual. Before you end up in debt or worse, you need to know exactly what happened and what your vehicle is worth and understand your rights if you do not have something of value or no car. Ask questions about your policy and insurance. Check with your insurer to see if the policy requires you to provide information about the accidents you or someone else may have been involved in and the insurance company’s policy and procedures. Ensure that you are insured, especially if you had your vehicle stolen or your keys are stolen or had to live an extra day because you were being followed or you weren’t driving the car you picked up. Call ahead if you need to go somewhere. Asking everyone involved to move to the front of the vehicle as soon as possible and keeping everyone informed helps reduce accidents and injuries during the recovery process.