Imagine that you’ve had a motor vehicle accident and suffered an injury. So here is what to do after a car accident.
You’re home from the hospital and for the first time in a few days, you’ve got time to think about your next steps.
You want to go to work, but you can’t. You know the accident shouldn’t have happened and now you’re possibly looking at years of medical expenses. You may be angry, frustrated or frightened about how you’re going to support yourself and your family.
This is calm after the storm. When the situation sinks in, it’s a difficult time. But it’s a also a critical time.
When you’ve suffered a personal injury due to a motor vehicle accident, there’s a very specific list of things you need to do to make sure that you’re covered. If you wish to initiative a lawsuit, there’re may be strict timelines that you’ll need to meet and depending on the type of suit, some insurance companies only compensate for expenses that were claimed after the paperwork was filed.
I’ve listed the ten most important things you need to do after a motor vehicle accident, in the order that you need to do them. You may or may not choose to sue, but following these steps will at least give you options:
- File a police report as soon as possible
- Record names and addresses of witnesses at the scene
- Exchange insurance information and details with other driver(s)
- Make an appointment and talk to your family doctor asap
- Notify your insurance company within seven days of the accident
- Keep receipts for all related expenses. If you’re not sure what is considered a related expense, err on the side of caution and keep all your receipts
- Record dates and time spent caring for injuries. I recommend you keep a log that you pin to the fridge or keep in a convenient place so you don’t lose track. A solid record is better than ‘guesstimating’
- See if you are covered under other policies (e.g., through work, school or private plans)
- Apply for accident benefits within 30 days
- Call your lawyer
Remember, there are strict guidelines to filing a claim against an insurer, or a person whom you believe is at fault for your accident. The earlier you meet with a lawyer the better because the lawyer can guide you through the process.
Now you know what to do after a car accident. If you still have questions, contact us.