Even the safest and most alert of drivers can get into accidents. Sometimes a distraction, a car fault, or even just missing a signal can cause you to be at fault in an accident. Every car accident is different, each resulting in differing levels of damages, injuries, and losses. What you do at the scene of the accident and the days after can dramatically affect your ability to recover compensation for your damages. Besides, you may face serious emotional trauma, chronic pain, which can lead to serious consequences for your health. There are a lot of people who want to handle these cases on their own, but calling an experienced car accident lawyer is incredibly important in order to know your next steps.
Both parties impacted will have their own set of stresses and worries, and if you’ve been injured, you may also have to deal with shock, adrenaline, and pain at the same time.
All of this can easily leave you feeling confused and unable to think straight, meaning you might end up missing important information or evidence at the scene.
The first thing to remember is that it’s always best to be honest if you’re at fault. Below are other steps for what to do if you’re at fault in a car accident.
1. Contact your insurance
You’ll want to contact your insurance company as soon as possible so that they can begin to collect the evidence. Be upfront about being at fault so that the process of accepting liability is easier if the other person claims for damage or injury.
Not accepting responsibility for the accident will lead to much bigger problems. Your insurance will deny the claim for the injured party, and they may take things further with a lawsuit.
2. Gather your own evidence
Even when at fault, you should try to gather your own evidence at the scene. There are also certain questions to answer or ask after the event to give you a better idea of what’s going to happen:
- How much damage have you caused to the driver’s property?
- How badly hurt are the passengers and driver?
- How much excess will you need to cover out of pocket?
- Will the injured party agree to a settlement?
In terms of a settlement, the final number will be dictated by your insurance, but it is a good idea to get a brief overview of what the company is planning to offer.
3. Seek counsel
Speaking with a defense attorney like Brown and Crouppen St. Charles MO will help you navigate the discussions about payment and compensation. A financial adjuster gets to make decisions for you about your money and how much you’re willing to pay. It’s much better to invest in a defense attorney upfront, as it could save you a pretty penny in the long run.
4. Update your insurance
The best way to recover from an at-fault accident is to prevent another payout. It’s worth taking a look at what your insurance currently covers, what your policy limits are, and what actually is supposed to happen when you’re in an accident. If a policy seems too good or cheap to be true, it probably is. Make sure to ask as much as you can to get the full scope of what may happen in different situations before signing up to a new policy.
With the help of a defense attorney, and your insurance company working within your best interests, an incident shouldn’t be too difficult to come back from. However, it may be time to refocus and find ways to prevent danger in the future.