I’ve Been Hit! What Do I Do Now?
This past summer, I was rear-ended. It was completely not my fault. I was in park in a drive thru line when the person behind me decided that they no longer wanted to wait and drove right into my car. What do you do in this kind of situation? How do you handle it?
Check for Damage
Before you move your vehicle, get out and check for damage. If the damage is severe, do not move your vehicle until the police arrive. This makes it easier for the officer who comes to see exactly how the accident happened instead of estimating angles and such afterwards.
Get a Police Report
It does not matter how friendly and apologetic the other vehicles driver is, you are going to want a police report. This will have both party’s sides of the story, as well as the officer’s assessment as to what happened for the accident. If there becomes any debate over liability, having a police report can be a huge help!
Know the Other Party’s Information
If you’ve gotten a police report, it should include the other party’s information. However, it’s a good idea to keep a copy for yourself. You’re going to want their name, phone number, insurance company name and phone number as well as policy number. You’ll also want the year, make and model of their vehicle and their license plate number too!
Contact their Insurance Company Quickly
You’ll want to get in touch with the at fault parties vehicle insurance to cover the damages. In my case, they setup an appointment at the repair shop for that Monday and had my car fixed as good as new within 24 hours from then. The faster you act, the better so that the other party doesn’t have time to change their story and come up with ulterior options of what may have happened.
Have a Doctor Check You Out
If you are feeling any aches and pains, you’re going to want to have a doctor take a look at you. Pain my happen instantly, or in my case days later. At the time of the accident, I felt fine – but when I woke up the next morning, I could barely turn my neck. A trip to the urgent care and several weeks of chiropractic care later, and I’m just now starting to feel like myself again. It’s definitely been a slow recovery but it’s coming along.
Contact a Lawyer
When it comes to injury during an accident, unfortunately the other party’s insurance may not want to pay. In my case, they denied my claim saying that the damage to my care was not sufficient enough to support my injury. I had to hire a lawyer and am in the process of going through negotiations between the lawyer’s office and the insurance company to see if a settlement can be reached. If you’re in the area, this Tampa personal injury lawyer is highly recommended! If you’re elsewhere, ask friends or acquaintances and I’m sure you’ll find someone who can recommend a good lawyer for you.
Don’t Be Scared to Drive Again
After you’ve been hurt in an accident, especially one that isn’t your fault, it can be scary to get behind the wheel again. But, rest assured, you can do it! It’ doesn’t have to affect your whole life. Take baby steps, like going to the grocery store before running again, like going across country. Soon you’ll see that accidents are the minority and it is safe to be behind the wheel again.
Getting into a car accident is no fun. Trust me, I completely understand that one. But knowing what to do if it should happen to you puts you one step ahead of those who are clueless. I hope that it never has to happen to you.