What are the standard procedures for a car accident victim?

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What are the standard procedures for a car accident victim?


Many victims do not know what to do after a car accident. Fortunately, the rules are pretty much the same in every state and abiding by them can preserve and support a claim for damages.

The police should be called to the scene any time an accident occurs, even if the victim is partially or totally at fault for the accident. The police will create an accident report and the victim should request a copy of this report along with the officer’s badge and contact information. If possible, the victim should make notes about the accident while they are fresh in his mind.

Next, the victim should then notify his insurance company that an accident occurred, the damages he sustained, where his vehicle is currently located and whether he suffered any injuries, if known. If requested, the victim can provide the insurance company a copy of the police report, but note that its information could potentially be used against him at a later time. The insurance company will assign an adjuster to the accident who will investigate it and ascribe a value to the damages the victim suffered.

Next, if the individual was physically injured he should immediately seek medical attention. Even if no injuries are apparent, obtaining a physical examination can help identify whether other aliments might arise in the future as a result of the accident. This information can then be used later to support a physical injury claim.  

The adjuster will make a settlement recommendation and the victim will usually receive a letter stating the amount of payment offered to him. The victim can then participate in negotiations for a higher settlement.

Getting Legal Help

If you have been the victim of a car accident, consider obtaining legal advice. An attorney will review the accident and discuss with you the steps to take to enhance your chances of obtaining an award for damages.