Its difficult to try and imagine yourself in a car accident situation — no one wants it to happen to them, and it can be a headache to deal with insurance companies afterwards, and you will need an auto accident attorney. However, traffic accidents are common occurrences that can lead to serious injury and death. In 2009, there were 261 traffic crashes per 100 million miles traveled in Alaska alone, while there were 34,552 Alaskans involved in traffic crashes that same year.
Being prepared for the worst is important; here are six tips and tricks to help make the process easier.
- Prepare Beforehand. A traffic accident attorney will encourage you to get to know your auto insurance policy. State laws vary and you’ll want to know how protected you are under certain conditions. For example, what will happen to your family if you don’t survive an accident? In 2009, 64 Alaskans were killed in traffic crashes. Have insurance information on hand at all times, including name of provider, policy number, and phone number.
- Call the Police. If you do find yourself in an accident, your car accident attorney will always want you to first make sure everyone is ok, but then to call the police as soon as possible. If the accident involved another car besides yours, move your cars out of traffic to avoid further injury to the vehicle and yourself. Even if you’ve experienced a little fender bender, it is still advised that you call the police to have it on record.
- Call the Insurance Company. No matter the severity of the accident, always call your insurance company — the sooner they know about the accident, the better. A personal injury lawyer will be happy to work with you to reduce any insurance costs. Although some insurance companies won’t raise your rates unless you were at fault, definitely let them know within a day of the accident.
- Gather Information. Take photos with your phone or have a camera in your glove compartment at all times. Make sure to photograph traffic signs, lane markings, and the damage to all vehicles or property involved. Write down the name and contact information and insurance information of the other driver so that your auto accident attorney may contact their insurance company.
- Don’t Admit Fault. Whenever an accident occurs, never jump straight to conclusions and say you were at fault, this will make the case much more difficult for your auto accident attorney and it may lead to a bumpy personal injury claim process. Admitting liability means you will not take on the cost of the wreck and your insurance company will have to pay for the other person’s injuries, resulting in a price hike in your insurance costs.
- Track Repairs. Stay on top of the repair process for your car; note what parts need replacing and fixing and how much those will cost — including labor and tax. Make sure the insurance company is paying for original manufacturing parts for your car. If the other driver’s insurance company calls, have your insurance company deal with their requests.