Even small car accidents can leave you jarred and emotionally strained, adding to the confusion of what you need to do immediately and how you should proceed afterward. There is an ideal list of steps everyone involved in an accident should follow, but this doesn’t always play out and can come back to hurt you if you need to file a claim later. Below are some scenarios to look out for should you ever be involved in an accident.
You Don’t Know Who Caused Your Accident
Hit and run accidents happen all too frequently and can leave you behind with a slew of problems, including serious injuries. If you find yourself in a situation where the other driver leaves the scene, call the police immediately — the sooner they arrive, the faster they can try to find the missing driver. Try to record as many details as possible about the other driver. If they are not found, you may be able to file a claim with your insurance, but, unfortunately, you will not be able to do so with the negligent driver’s insurance.
Another Driver Won’t Exchange Information with You
Immediately following an accident, it’s essential to exchange information like contacts and insurance policies, but the heat of the moment may make this difficult. If the other driver refuses to give you his or her information, simply wait for the police, who will collect the information from both of you and give it to the other.
The Insurance Company May Misguide You
If you are not at fault for the accident, you can file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance to receive compensation for property damages and personal injuries. Be careful when dealing with the insurance agency, as they may try to offer you a settlement far below the amount you are entitled to or get you to make a recorded statement that weakens your case.
You’re in an Accident with a Ride-Sharing Vehicle
Commercial ride-sharing vehicles, such as Uber or Lyft, come with their own policies on when the company can be responsible for damages. Their drivers are not actual employees, meaning that if a driver is off the clock, only his or her personal insurance can be filed with a claim. The company will only provide coverage for passengers or bystanders injured by a driver currently on a fare, and only up to one million dollars.
If you face any concerns with your accident, turn to a car accident lawyer for help. Many work on a contingency fee, meaning you don’t have to pay unless they win your case. Having experienced advice in this stressful time can ease some worry and get you rightful compensation for your suffering.