The smallest mistake can, unfortunately, hurt your claim, even if the accident was 100% not your fault.
Car accident claims are often complex, especially when there is a lot of money at stake. Unfortunately, when a person is involved in a car accident, they are often unaware of what steps they should take. The actions you take or fail to take, immediately following your accident can have a huge impact on your claim.
The smallest mistake can, unfortunately, hurt your claim, even if the accident was 100% not your fault. Insurance companies often purposefully look for these mistakes, as they give them cause to lower your settlement or even dismiss your claim entirely.
Here are the essential steps you need to take right after a car accident.
Call the Police
It should become second nature to call the police right after a collision and notify them. Many Missouri drivers will skip this step, especially if the collision was small, and the at-fault driver seems to cooperate and exchange insurance information.
However, strategically speaking, it’s better to call in the police. Once they show up, they will have to conduct an investigation and file a report, which can help you with your claim. Police reports are seen as objective portrayals of the accidents.
Call an Ambulance or Go to the Hospital
Sometimes car accidents can cause bodily harm right then and there. In other cases, you may only see the signs that something is wrong even a week after the incident.
For your safety, it’s best to get a medical opinion before you drive home. If you feel fine, you may consider driving yourself to the hospital, just don’t skip this process entirely – and don’t wait too long. If you have to add medical expenses to your claim, the insurance company may ask why you waited so long to get checked, and even suggest your injuries were not caused by the car accident at all.
Begin to Build a Case from Day 1
You will need a lot of documents and proof during your car accident claim. The burden of proof is on you, not the at-fault driver, and as a result, you should start gathering evidence as soon as you can.
Evidence could consist of:
- Photos from the scene
- Witness testimonies
- Medical bills
- Any receipts relevant to the accident
- Documents that show you’ve been put on leave from work
Speak With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
While you are not obligated to, once you start diving into the insurance claims process you’ll likely see how difficult it is to manage. You should consider speaking with a St. Louis auto accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident took place. They will tell you how to proceed and can help gather evidence to prove your claim, as well as negotiate the best possible settlement.
If you’ve been the victim of a car accident, it’s important to take these key steps right after the accident. You may be entitled to compensation to cover your medical bills and other damages resulted from the accident. An experienced attorney can help protect your claim and get you the compensation you are legally entitled to. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.