The Accident Happened: Now What?

While many people will be involved in a car accident at some point in their life, most have no idea what to do next in the moments, days and weeks following the accident. They may go through the normal steps of exchanging information with the other driver and contacting their insurance company, but there are many details to this complex process that many people overlook or are unaware of.

Here are a few things you might not know — but need to know — following a car accident to make sure you receive the full amount of compensation and insurance benefits that you deserve:

Document absolutely everything — From the moment you get to safety, immediately begin keeping a record of everything. Take pictures at the scene of the accident. Get contact information from those who witnessed the crash. Get the other person's information. Take notes on whom you spoke with and what you told them, specifically.

As the insurance process kicks off, continue your note keeping — Hold on to all medical records. Make sure that you have a complete record of exactly what occurred and whom you spoke with.

See a doctor as soon as possible — Even if you don't think you were injured in the accident, some injuries can mask themselves with adrenaline and stress. If you do not see a doctor directly following the accident to get a clean bill of health, the insurance company may use this as an excuse not to pay for medical treatment for injuries or pain that evidence themselves in the weeks to come.

Do not make official statements without seeking legal guidance — After the accident, never admit to fault. Never state that you don't think you are injured. Cooperate with police and your insurance agent, but do not make definitive comments until you have spoken with an attorney who can represent you.

Get an attorney — Studies show that those who work with the insurance company through an attorney on average receive more in settlements and benefits than those who do not. This is for two main reasons: attorneys understand the complexities of negotiating with insurance companies and using evidence to strengthen your claim; also insurance companies would rather settle with an attorney for an advantageous settlement than risk going to court.

Understand your medical insurance coverage — There may be overlaps or gaps between what your medical insurance policy will pay and what your car insurance is responsible. An attorney can help you understand how to best piece these policies together and which company should pay for which treatment.

Even in cases of a hit and run, there are options for receiving benefits — An attorney can help you understand how to use uninsured motorist coverage and how to seek other compensation and benefits, in addition to this policy.

If you have been in a car accident, it is important to seek skilled legal guidance. Call our office in Montgomery, Alabama at 334-523-8268 today to learn more about your options and the full amount of compensation you can receive.