7 Things You Should Do After A Car Accident
If you're an owner of a classic car, you should know very well that parts used to construct such a vehicle are difficult to find, which is why getting involved in a car accident is something you must avoid. Unfortunately, unforeseen events can and will happen, and it's important to remember that due to the nature of classic cars, accidents involving them are much different than the ones with regular vehicles. Specifically, accident claims will have a higher value, which means the insurance company will have to pay a lot more, so it should be in your best interest if you're to take this more seriously because the at-fault party's insurance company will certainly do.
Usually, the insurance company will try several tactics, such as low balling the settlement amount, using your statements against you, or preventing you from hiring a car accident lawyer, all of which can lead to significant disadvantages. On that note, here are several things you need to do to gain an advantage throughout the whole process:
1. Seek Medical Attention Immediately
While you may want to get right into business, you must first make sure you're safe. After all, there's a possibility you sustained a severe injury that can worsen over time. To do so, you need to ask for medical help or call 911. Once the help arrives, you have to prioritize your safety; only then should you start with the process of seeking compensation.
2. Call Law Enforcement
After calling 911, you should also call law enforcement. This is because when responding officers arrive at the scene, they'll most likely write an accident report, which can be a crucial document to prove that the other party was at fault. With that said, if they ask you what happened, it would be in your best interest if you answer honestly. After answering their questions, you should then get the badge numbers or names of the responding officers.
3. Talk To Witnesses
When dealing with a car accident case, your ultimate goal is to gather as much evidence as possible, and statements of witnesses hold a high value as evidence. So, your next step is to talk to the people around the area. If you find people who witnessed the incident unfold, you might want to ask for their contact information and name, in case you'll need their help later on, or you can simply record your conversation with them, assuming they believe the other party is at fault.
4. Exchange Information With The Other Party
The next thing you need to do is exchange information with the other party. After all, all your efforts until now would've been in vain if you don't know anything about the at-fault party. Moreover, if the other party is aware that classic cars are expensive, they tend to get away from the scene. So, before they do, you need to get the following details:
- Full name
- Contact details
- Insurance company
- Driver's license
- Plate number
- Specifications of the vehicle
5. Take Photos Of The Incident
Usually, you can settle car accident claims without any issue, but since the insurance company will have to pay more because of your classic car, they might try to disprove your claim that the other party is at fault. One way to prevent this scenario is by taking as many photos of the accident as possible. Take pictures of the wreckage and take photos of your injuries, although you shouldn't impose on the responding officers during the process.
6. Collect All The Noteworthy Documents
The last pieces of evidence you need are documents that can serve as proof for your claim. First, you need the accident report, which usually includes which party was at fault. This would prove that your claim is valid. You can get a copy of the accident report by simply sending a request to the local law enforcement office a few days after the accident. Next, you need the medical records detailing your injuries, their severity, and the costs for past and future treatments. These documents will go a long way in increasing the settlement value, especially since insurance companies often use social media against you to disprove the severity of your injuries.
7. Consider Hiring A Car Accident Lawyer
Before ending this, it's worth noting that the process is much harder than you think, although this guide may make it seem easy. The at-fault party may be stubborn. The responding officers may not have included who was at fault on their reports. As such, it's essential to have someone who knows the law more than you do, so it's worth considering hiring a car accident lawyer to help you out throughout the whole process, even more so since you're dealing with an accident involving your classic car.
Once you've done these seven things, the lawyer should take care of everything else, although they may require your input here and there. Regardless, if there weren't any noteworthy incidents or obstacles along the way, there's a huge chance you can receive a relatively high amount of compensation, which you can then use to repair your classic car. But, you might want to seek the help of an expert specializing in classic cars if that's the case.