Car Accident – I Was Hit And Now What?

Car accident? Let the frustration begin! This is because I was in a similar situation last week and didn’t know what to do nor how to respond.

Before I started law school, I worked as a claim adjuster for many years. I still don’t get how confusing it is to be involved in a car accident.

Last week, while sitting at a lamp, there was an abrupt “bum” sound. My seat gave way and I fell flat on my back. I woke up to find that my hazard lights were not working and that I couldn’t remember where I was. Everything was just a blur.

I looked at my car and realized that I couldn’t drive it home.

When the insurance adjuster called, I felt the frustration of the adjuster. The recorded statement was very detailed and the adjuster asked many questions. It was obvious that I sounded like the worst idiot.

What is Mr. Quiroga’s name and badge number?

uh? I was there, and I was hit. I couldn’t find my hazard lights, and my seat was damaged. This was the answer to my problem!

Okay, I think you get the point. We don’t know what to do when we are in a car accident.
I didn’t know, and I was involved in every car accident that could be imagined.

These are my 10 best tips:

  1. Only get out of your vehicle if you feel safe and/or there is smoke.
  2. Check that other drivers are okay. Ask the other driver.
  3. Be careful about what you say. Many adjusters will alter your words to sound as if you are apologizing for the accident. Asking the simple question: Is everyone OK in your car? This will take care of the job.
  4. Contact the police. Call the police at the accident site. Don’t trust anyone. Many people will claim that they called but never called them in many accidents.
  5. With the other driver, exchange insurance information.
  6. Even if the vehicle is blocking traffic, do not move it. Let the police inspect the scene and determine when the vehicle should be moved.
  7. If possible, call the insurance company of the other party to determine if they have an active policy that would cover your accident. Tell the police if there isn’t.
  8. Don’t argue. Listen and then get in your car to sit down if you feel anxious.
  9. Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as you can. Insurance agents will tell that minor accidents are acceptable and should be reported to your insurance company. This will ensure that your rates don’t rise. This can, in my opinion, backfire on your side. If an injured party claims that you are responsible for the accident, even if the claim is not serious, insurance companies may decline to cover you. This is because you have failed to fulfill your obligation to report. You are notifying your carrier about the car accident. You can say that you will negotiate with other parties, but if it gets ugly, they will contact you.
  10. If the accident involved substance. Seek medical attention. The adrenaline rush that comes with a car accident is overwhelming and can mask any injury or pain. It is better to recognize any injury or complications early.