After being in an accident, car damage is one of the most common things you may be forced to deal with. Even when you have not been injured, the cost of replacing or repairing your car can be high, and the entire process is frustrating. Here are a few tips to help deal with car damage after an accident.
1. Contact an Attorney
Contacting your attorney will ensure that you get the maximum compensation possible. Whether you choose to file a claim or settle out of court, they will represent your best interest. Lawsuits can be complex, and you may have trouble understanding them without guidance. A good lawyer will let you know what to expect and what you can do to improve the strength of your case. Moreover, you will get to know how much claim you can avail under personal injury claim. This should be done in consideration with the physical damage suffered. You can click for more information and manage your case accordingly.
Even though you can try to get compensation for your vehicle repairs, an error on your part can ruin your chances. Your lawyer will help you determine who was at fault. According to the experts at https://the702firm.com/, attorneys handle evidence every day, and they know what is relevant. They can offer advice to strengthen your case and help you to figure out your next move.
2. Find Out What Is Covered by Insurance
If the accident was a result of someone else’s negligence, you might be eligible for compensation. You will receive compensation for the cost of replacing or repairing your car, depending on the severity of the damages. You may also be compensated for the property inside your car. This may include your electronics, sporting equipment, and clothing.
Insurance may cover you through three main sources:
If the other driver has property liability insurance coverage, and they were at fault for the accident, you will receive compensation for the standard amount of repairing your car.
If your auto insurance covers collisions, you can use it to pay for the cost of repairs. It is the fastest way to get your car back on the road. The cost of repairs will be paid out even if you were at fault. You will need to pay a deductible, and it will be returned to you as soon as the defendant’s insurance company pays your insurance provider.
If you have to get a rental as you wait for your car to be repaired, rental reimbursement coverage may help you pay for it.
Uninsured Motorists Coverage
If the other driver had no insurance, your uninsured motorist coverage might come in handy. This coverage also helps when you have trouble identifying the other driver. However, you may need to pay a deductible.
3. Plan to Get It Repaired
If the Car Is ‘Totaled’
If the cost of repairing a car is higher than its original worth, it is considered a ‘Total Loss.’ Your insurance company will compare the estimated repair cost and the amount at which it would have been sold before the accident, and they will pay whatever amount is less. When trying to determine the fair market value of your car, they will consider the price of similar cars on websites, local car dealerships, and newspapers.
If It Is Drivable
Contact the other driver’s insurance provider and ask about the approximate cost of repairs. An insurance adjuster will schedule a time to inspect it. They may ask that you drive your car to their location. Once you have an estimate, drive your car to a body shop, and ask for another estimate. If the first and second estimates are close, have the body shop contact the insurance provider. You will receive a check to cover the cost of repairing the car.
If you have trouble getting an estimate from the insurance provider, get estimates from a few body shops in your area. The insurance provider will write a check to the lowest one.
Important Actions to Perform Following a Vehicle Accident
Find Out if Anyone is Wounded
Never, ever leave the site of an accident, regardless of how minor it may be. Your top goal is to ensure everyone’s safety; anything else can wait. Check on everyone to see whether they’re okay and call for help if you or anybody else requires medical attention. Check on everyone who was involved in the accident to check whether any of them have sustained any injuries. This includes ensuring that you do not have any significant injuries. Always be aware of the side of caution, as not all wounds can be seen if you or anyone else participating is not feeling well.
Get Your Vehicle and Yourself Out of Harm’s Way
The first thing you need to do, if it is at all possible, is to pull over your vehicle to a secure and well-lit area nearby. Preferably, this area should be visible to the public so that other people can see both you and the other driver.
If you are not harmed and the collision was not severe, move your vehicle to the side of the road as carefully as you can so that it does not obstruct oncoming traffic. Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights and place flares or reflective emergency triangles along the roadway to warn other cars to reduce their speed. However, if the collision was more severe or if anyone was injured, you should leave the vehicles where they are.
Be very careful when you get out of your vehicle, even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt, especially if the accident happened on a highway or a busy street. Even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt, it’s still important to be very careful. It’s possible that you’re not thinking in a rational way, which could put you in harm’s way.
Secure Your Passengers
After being in a car accident, it is easy to become distracted and to act in ways that you normally would not with your loved ones or pets, both of which could result in more harm to you or them. After an accident, even if it was just a hit on your vehicle’s fender or a minor collision, you should never leave young children, pets, disabled adults, or elderly people who are unable to walk outside in a car that is locked and left in scorching temperatures.
You shouldn’t leave the engine off while they are sitting in the car in a hot weather while you deal with the details of the accident. If any of the children who were traveling with you at the time of the accident were still too young to be properly restrained, you shouldn’t take them out of their car seats until after the incident has been properly investigated. They may have injuries that aren’t visible to the naked eye; thus, you should allow a first responder to remove them from their car seats so that they may be evaluated for injuries.
Make sure that children stay in the car whenever it is safe to do so so that they don’t end up hurting themselves. Carry out the same actions for any elderly passengers who are unable to walk or anyone else who is unable to move independently regardless of whether or not they are anxious or traumatized.
Contact Law Enforcement or an Ambulance
Once you and your car have reached a secure location, you should check to see if you or anybody else who was in the car at the time of the collision sustained any injuries. If someone appears to have suffered even a small injury as a result of the accident, emergency services should be contacted. You should seek medical attention as soon as possible, whether for yourself or other people; this is especially important in situations in which the injured include young children, elderly individuals, or persons who are unable to care for themselves.
If you are unable to accurately locate yourself at the time of the emergency call 911, you should ask someone around you for the precise coordinates of the incident. It is essential to report the accident; yet, in some communities, the authorities might not come to the scene of a small incident. Nowadays, many police departments are shifting away from sending resources to accidents to report them at the scene and instead relying on online reporting.
If the police show up, you should write down the officer’s name, the badge number, and your contact information. Ensure that you receive a copy of the accident report from the officer who responded to the scene. If the police do not show up, you can ask the officer who took the report or the insurance adjuster who is handling your claim for a copy of the report.
Document the Situation
Make use of the camera, the video recorder, and the voice memo feature on your smartphone to record as much information as you can about the accident. Try to take images and if possible, document the incident in writing, even if the collision was very minor and you believe you can adequately describe what happened. Thorough notes and photographs of the scene may assist the court and insurance agencies in determining who is at fault.
Obtain a detailed description of the automobiles that are involved, including the year, make, model, and color of each vehicle. Take photographs of the scene, being sure to capture the vehicles, as well as any damage they may have sustained, as well as the roadways, any traffic signs, and the direction from which each vehicle originated. Try to draw a graphic of the precise location of the collision, marking where each vehicle was located as well as the direction the vehicle was approaching from and the lane it was in. Make a note of the time, date, and conditions in the weather forecast.
If there were any witnesses, you should try to collect their names and contact information in case one of the other drivers isn’t entirely truthful about what took place. This will allow the witnesses to assist in bringing clarity to the situation. To record the license numbers of the other drivers involved in the accident, you need to request to view their driver’s licenses and write down the information. In addition, make sure you have their full name, address, and phone number, as well as the name of their insurance company, their policy number, and their license plate number.
Be sure to acquire the information of the vehicle’s owner as well, in case if the other driver does not own the vehicle involved. These options are only available if the accident you encountered was very minor.
If It Isn’t Driveable
If you cannot drive your car, the insurance provider will send an adjuster to you. They will give you an estimate and issue a check for repairs. If your car was towed, get it to the body shop as soon as you can to avoid paying high storage fees.
Having your car damaged in a car accident is not something that anyone hopes to go through. However, accidents happen, and they are likely to cause significant damage. Knowing what to do can save you a lot of time. One of the most important things to do is get the opinion of a lawyer. Legal representation will ensure that you maximize your compensation. You do not need to deal with legal troubles alone.