6 Things to Do After a Car Accident

Posted By Walter Thomas
6 Things to Do After a Car Accident

Panicking in the aftermath of a car accident is a normal reaction. After all, car accidents are scary and can lead to long-term harm in some cases. While keeping a calm head and frame of mind after a serious collision may feel impossible, doing so can serve you well in the long-run. As you navigate the car accident claims process, get your ducks in a row first by making a list of everything that you need to do. To help you in that process, here’s a list of six things to do after a car accident--


1. Get Copies of the Accident Report

Assuming that you reported the accident to the police at the time that it happened, you’ll want to request a copy of the accident report for your records. The Iowa Department of Transportation website contains clear instructions for how you can request a copy of an accident report. You’ll need the accident report when filing your car insurance claim, and it’s also an important piece of evidence to keep for your records, too. 


2. Tell Your Insurance Company

One big mistake that many who have been involved in car accidents make is that of failing to inform their insurance company of the accident in a timely manner. The insurance company has the right to investigate your crash, and it needs adequate time to do so. If you don’t provide your insurance company with notice of your crash within the required time frame, it could deny your claim as a result. Our law firm strongly recommends calling your insurance company within 24-48 hours of your accident in order to ensure that you're within the company’s deadline. 


3. Know the Value of Your Car

As you focus on your injuries and your recovery, something that you may overlook is the importance of focusing on the vehicle part of the claims process. Assuming that your vehicle is damaged, you’ll need repairs or a check for compensation if your vehicle has been totaled. In either case, it’s important to know what your vehicle is worth and to get a quote from wherever you want to get repairs. Be sure to share this quote with the insurance company and to get approval before proceeding with repairs. If you try to get reimbursed later without getting the go-ahead first, the insurance company may deny your claim. 


4. Follow Your Doctor’s Orders

One way that you can optimize your recovery and ensure that the insurance company has grounds to claim that you didn’t do your due diligence to mitigate more severe harm is to make sure that you follow your doctor’s orders. If your doctor tells you to stay in bed and refrain from any serious exercise and you’re caught at the gym, for example, this can severely undermine your claim that you’ve suffered severe injuries that are continuing to impact you. As a side note, you should also refrain from using social media during this time, as an insurance adjuster may try to add you as a friend or follow your profile in order to see what you’re up to, and then use this information to devalue your case. 


5. Consider Hiring Experts

If there are any disputes about fault, the degree of your injuries, the value of your claim, etc., one way that you can add clout to your claims and strengthen your side is to hire experts. For example, accident reconstruction experts, forensic experts, doctors, and financial professionals may all be able to testify to the amount of damages you’ve suffered. Note that if you are working with a personal injury/car accident attorney, your attorney will likely know experts and be able to front the costs of hiring these experts for you. 


6. Journal and Document 

The importance of thoroughly documenting the harm you’ve suffered, what happened, the damages you’re experiencing, and your thoughts, pain, and suffering cannot be understated. Journals make for powerful evidence in a court case, should your car accident claim wind up in litigation. Purchase a journal as soon as possible after your crash and write down as much as you can about the accident and your recovery, including how things like your wages, lifestyle, and relationships are impacted. 


Call the Telpner Peterson Law Firm, LLP Directly Today

If you are in a car accident, taking the right steps can have a positive outcome on your claim. Of course, doing all of the above on your own, especially if you’re healing from serious injuries, might be easier said than done. At the Telpner Peterson Law Firm, LLC, our experienced car accident attorneys can help. From the moment you call us, we’ll start working on your claim so you can focus on your recovery. To schedule a free consultation, call us directly or send us a message at your convenience. 

Related Content:


Article Tags, click any to see related articles:

About the Author:

Walter Thomas

Attorney Walter Thomas provides legal representation in personal injury, workers compensation claims, auto accidents, medical malpractice, elder law and more. For more details contact our Council Bluffs personal injury lawyer at 712-325-9000.... View full business profile here: Walter Thomas