A motor vehicle collision might mean thousands of dollars in property damage losses. You might have tens of thousands of dollars beyond that in medical costs and lost wages if you get hurt in the crash.
Many drivers just assume that insurance companies will fully cover their losses after a wreck. However, some insurance companies will try to minimize what they pay on claims. Drivers also occasionally have to go to civil court to get compensation from someone who causes a crash.
Taking the right steps immediately after a collision will make it easier for you to file an insurance claim or even a civil lawsuit later. The three actions below help you preserve your right to seek compensation after a wreck.
Document the scene of the crash
One of the most common mistakes after a crash is to move vehicles too soon afterward. The placement of the vehicles involved can influence how others reconstruct the collision and who they ultimately hold responsible for the crash.
Using a phone, provided it isn’t broken in the wreck, to take photos and even captured video of the scene of the collision will help drivers prove what happened before and during the crash. If the other driver tries to lie and place the blame on you, the documentation you have of the scene might help prove your version of events.
Report the collision immediately
Sometimes, drivers who cause crashes want to convince others not to notify the authorities about the wreck. If someone offers to pay your expenses directly, that might seem tempting. Still, state law requires that drivers report collisions with significant property damage or injuries to people.
If you don’t call the police to report the crash, you may have a harder time taking legal action or seeking repayment from the other driver’s insurance later.
Get a proper medical diagnosis
If you have any signs of significant injuries after a crash, prompt diagnosis helps protect you. Not only will it make it easier for you to prove that the collision is what caused the injury, but it will also reduce the likelihood of lasting medical consequences.
Knowing ahead of time what steps to take after a car crash will help you better protect yourself, especially if you suffer noteworthy injuries.