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In 2021, more than 2.1 million people went to the emergency room for injuries in traffic accidents, according to theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention. Accidents can happen to anyone, and it's important to know what to do after you've been involved in a car accident through no fault of your own.
After an accident, it is always important to call the police, get medical help and contact your insurance company. If you are not at fault, it's also a good idea to sue the other driver's insurance company to get the full compensation you deserve for any loss. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps you can take after a no-fault accident to protect yourself and get the compensation you deserve.
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Starting out in a no-fault car accident
A collision with a motor vehicle can be a stressful experience, so remembering what to do after a no-fault car accident can be difficult. Consider creating a checklist to keep in your glove compartment outlining these important first steps.
Immediately after the accident
Try to look out for your own safety and the safety of others. This may require the following steps:
- Pull yourself and your vehicle closer to the curb if safe to do so.
- Call 911 if someone is injured
- Contact the police to report the accident
The most important thing is to prevent other people from getting hurt and to ensure that the damage you and your passengers suffer is minimized.
If you are involved in an accident through no fault of your own, make sure you have proof of how the accident happened. Accidents can cause serious and expensive damage. Having evidence of how an accident occurred can be important in ensuring that the driver responsible for the damage is held accountable.
Immediately after an accident, there are some important steps to take at the crime scene to gather information that may be important later on. This can include:
- Name, address, telephone number, driver's license and license plate number of all persons involved in the accident
- The names and contact details of passengers or witnesses to the accident.
- Photos of the damage to the vehicles and the crash site
- Respondent police contact details
- A copy of the accident report from the relevant police force, if applicable and available
It may be difficult or impossible to obtain this information once the time is up, so collect as many details from the crime scene as possible.
What to do after a car accident
a visit to the doctor
Car accidents can cause injuries, even at low speeds. The full extent of the physical damage you suffer as a result of an accident may not be immediately apparent. A complete medical exam can reveal any problems. This can help you get immediate treatment. It also allows you to document injuries in case you need to file damage claims against the other driver.
Understand state laws and insurance coverage
Rules about who is responsible for covering the cost of accidental damage can vary from state to state.
In certain jurisdictions, known as no-fault states, your own insurance company may cover medical bills and some lost wages in cases where the damage caused by an accident is minor. In these states, each driver relies on their own insurance company for compensation up to a set limit, for example B.$10,000, regardless of who was responsible for the accident.
In these states, there isn't much of a difference between what to do after a no-fault car accident and what to do after you're at fault. However, thedebtThe driver may also be liable for material damage through no fault of his own.
However, in other states, the driver who caused the accident must pay compensation for property damage, medical bills and other losses resulting from injuries such as B. loss of wages and emotional stress.
It's important to understand which rules are likely to apply to your situation so that you can determine whether you should expect to be paid by your insurance company or the at-fault driver's insurance company.
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Contact your own insurance company
Regardless of who has to pay compensation after a road accident, you should report the accident to your own insurance company as soon as possible.
There are several important reasons why you should always report accidents to your insurance company, even if they seem minor or if the other driver has admitted fault and agreed to indemnify you. That's why it's a good idea to always let your insurer know what happened:
- Small accidents can sometimes cause big damage. A driver who has promised to pay may not have the money to do so.
- Your insurance company can help you get compensation from the at-fault driver's insurance company.
- Your insurance company may pay for damages if you live in a state where you are not at fault or if the other driver does not have adequate insurance. If you have uninsured or underinsured driver protection, your insurance company will replace the defaulting driver if that driver is unable to pay as required.
Delay in notifying your own insurer may compromise your access to the company's protection (you should normally contact them within 24 hours of the accident). This can lead to big problems if the person responsible does not provide adequate compensation after the accident.
Consider suing the other driver's insurance company
In many cases, after a car accident, you are entitled to at-fault driver compensation. This is the case for any lock in error states. And this is the case after an accident in a no-fault jurisdiction causes property damage or serious injury.
The at-fault driver's insurance company may offer to settle your case. They may agree to make a balloon payment to you if you agree to release future claims. But the comparative offer is not always enough.
In some cases, you may want to file a claim against the at-fault driver's insurance company. This can be helpful if the insurer refuses to be liable or underpays you due to the nature and extent of your damage.
A lawsuit gives you the right to prove your losses and have a jury decide if and how much you should be compensated. However, remember that no matter how much the jury awards in damages, the insurance company will only pay up to the policy limit. If you receive money that exceeds the policy's maximum coverage, you can try to collect it directly from the driver, but you may not be able to.
Have a Lawyer Evaluate Your Car Accident Claim
A lawyer can help you understand your rights and obtain compensation after a car accident. Personal injury attorneys go beyond answering the question of what to do after a no-fault car accident. They can help you fight for the money you need to rebuild after being the victim of an accident.
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Are there things you shouldn't do or say after a car accident?
Even if you're worried about others involved, it's usually a good idea not to apologize or say the accident was your fault. Admitting guilt can affect your insurance coverage and serve as evidence if your case goes to court.
Who pays for accident damage if the accident was not your fault?
In no-fault states, each driver's own insurance company pays for minor injuries, regardless of who is responsible for the accident. The driver who caused the accident must still be covered for property damage.
However, most states are debtor. As a result, the insurance of the driver who caused the accident will pay for the damage. Insurers pay up to the policy limit. If damages exceed this amount, victims can try to hold the driver responsible directly responsible or file a claim through their own underinsured motorist policy.
Should I talk to the other insurer?
In general, it's best not to talk to the other insurer other than providing contact information for your insurer or attorney.
Instead, talk to your own insurance company and let them handle the case. If you hire a lawyer, he can negotiate with the other insurer.