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Your First Car Accident Claim: A Short Checklist

by Marilyn Olson

For someone who has only been driving a short while, even a minor accident can be terrifying. Your mind might be unclear about what actions to take and what to avoid. The checklist below should help you keep important tasks in mind as you try to navigate the days ahead.

Talk with Police

If no one called police to investigate the scene when the accident itself happened, it's not too late to get them involved. Talking with police can allow you to collect and record your own thoughts and experiences and it can be a useful tool for moving forward with any lawsuit you may file. The police will interview you and ask questions so that they can get a clear understanding of what took place; they might also ask about the other driver's information and whether you know of any witnesses that can back up what you've said.

Know Medical and Repair Costs

Due to your eagerness to accept a financial settlement, it's quite possible that if the other driver's insurance company or lawyer calls you, any number will sound great. However, you need to have a clear idea of what medical and car repair costs you're facing or else your inexperience will lead you to agree to a very low amount. Take some time to contact mechanics about possible costs and tally them up along with your medical bills so you've got a bare minimum amount you'll accept. In fact, it might be smartest to check with your attorney before accepting any settlement at all.

Avoid Social Media

Just as with everything else that happens in your day to day life, you may feel the urge to post comments or rants on social media about the situation. Beware of investigators that work with attorneys and others to create an unflattering picture of you so that you lose out on financial settlements and insurance claims. Should these investigators peruse your social media platforms, they should not be able to find any speck of usable information. It's probably best to steer yourself away from those sites until the entire thing is resolved, but if you cannot, privatize accounts and be wary of disclosing much.

Seek Support

Because you haven't been driving very long, an accident might scare you so much that you don't think you'll ever be able to drive again. Before a non-driving life becomes a reality, seek a therapist or another professional to learn how to process your accident in a healthy way so you don't spend your life avoiding the driver's seat.

With this list, you can better protect yourself after your first accident. Contact a professional like Teresa P Williams to learn more.