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Take appropriate steps after a motor vehicle accident

When you are involved in a car accident, it is often difficult to remember what you should and shouldn't do after the accident. As basic as it seems, how you handle things right after the accident can have a big impact on any claims for compensation you might choose to make later. With that in mind, here are some pointers to help you if you are ever involved in an accident.

If you aren't severely injured in the accident, try to get pictures of the accident scene and your vehicle. If you are severely injured and need emergency medical care, you will likely have to rely on the information the police provide in their report since you might not be able to take pictures. Of course, you can always go to the scene later to try to get pictures to use in your case.

Another important thing that you will have to do is to speak to your insurance company. You should contact your agent as soon as you can after the accident. If you don't need emergency medical care, you can contact your agent on your way to the doctor. While you are speaking to your agent, or anyone else, don't allow any recorded conversations. You should also avoid making any written statements.

If you are presented with an offer or settlement, don't accept that immediately. There are several points that you will have to go through while you are checking the offer. Make sure that you have representation to go over things with you. Also, if you are offered a payment, look at the payment instrument. If "final payment" is noted anywhere on it, don't accept it because doing so would mean you don't expect future payments.

Source: FindLaw, "Car Insurance Claims: Dos and Don'ts," accessed Jan. 21, 2016

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