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What to do After an Auto Accident

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What To Do

If you are injured, here are some tips on what to do:

  • Create a list of witnesses including their contact information.
  • Keep a journal describing your injuries. Note how you feel physically and emotionally on a daily basis during your recovery period.
  • Take photographs of the scene, injuries, and property damage.
  • Seek the medical treatment that your doctor prescribes.

Do Not:

  • Provide a written or recorded statement to an insurance adjuster.
  • Admit liability.

Auto Accidents

Handling Your Property Damage Claim

  • First you must decide whether you want to file the claim with your insurance company or the at-fault company. See should I file a claim with my insurance company or the at-fault insurance company for help in making that decision.
  • Next you have two separate roads to go down based on whether the car is repairable or totaled. Check out our guide So You Want to Keep Your Totaled Car – Beware! as a first step.

If repairable:

  • If your vehicle can be repaired then you need to decide which body shop you want to take it to. The insurance company cannot require you to take it to a body shop that they choose.

If totaled:

  • If your vehicle is going to be totaled you should as quickly as possible get all of your personal belongings out of the vehicle and let the tow yard release the vehicle to the insurance company.
  • Once it is deemed totaled, the insurance company will give you an amount that it will pay to replace your vehicle. See How to Maximize Your Vehicle Damage Claim for more information on determining if the amount offered is fair.

Getting Treatment

If you are injured in the collision it is important that you promptly get evaluated by a doctor and follow-up with treatment. To see more about getting the most out of your treatment see How to Get the Most out of Your Medical Treatment.

Closing Out Your Case

Once you have finished treatment or reached maximum medical improvement it is time to resolve your case with the insurance company. This process can take months up to years depending on how the insurance company treats you.  To learn more about the litigation process see How is My Case Resolved?

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