You never plan on being involved in a car crash, but it happens to most Iowa residents at some point in their lives. While you may not plan on being in an auto accident, it does not mean you cannot have a plan in place for how to deal with it if it does eventually happen. Knowing beforehand what to do after an auto collision can help you maintain yourself in a time of crisis.
So, what should you do after a car crash? What if you can’t do everything you are supposed to?
What to do at the scene
After a crash, remain at the scene and call for help if you can. Check yourself, your passengers and others involved in the collision for injuries. While you wait on first responders to arrive:
- Take notes and pictures
- Exchange information with the other driver
- Gather witness contact information
If you can’t move to do all the above and if you can’t reach a phone, hang tight until help arrives. This information is usually in a police report that you can gain access to later. Just take care of yourself for the time being.
Seek medical attention
If injured, get medical attention as soon as possible. First responders may transport you to an area hospital from the scene. You may have a loved one take you or, if your injuries take a while to become apparent, you may take yourself to see a medical provider when you feel it is necessary. The sooner you seek help, the better, because the longer you wait, the worse off your injuries may be.
When you can, contact insurance — yours or that of the responsible party. You can do this on your own, or you can have legal counsel help you file your claim. Work through the insurance process. This can take some time and, unfortunately, may not work out entirely in your favor. Thankfully, if you have an attorney assist you with your claim, they can help negotiate a fair settlement.
What if the insurance company never offers you a fair settlement?
If this happens, you are within your rights to pursue legal action to achieve maximum compensation for your losses. If you do this, you may or may not end up taking your case to trial. Usually, resolving matters such as these happens before things get that far, but your attorney will prepare for litigation in the event that going to trial is the only way to get you fair and full relief.