While there is no way to plan for a car accident, there are steps you can take to prepare yourself for the process that will inevitably follow: the claims process. After an accident, you will need to file an auto insurance claim with your insurance company. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, this may be fairly simple or it may become riddled with complications. Many people find it beneficial to work with a personal injury attorney to help them through the claims process. An attorney can help you gather the necessary information for filing the claim as well as content the settlement if they believe you are not being fairly compensated.
The first thing that you should do following a car accident is pull over to a safe area so that you can speak with the other driver or drivers involved and exchange information. In some cases, car accidents are so severe that getting out of the vehicle is not possible. In severe car accident cases, call "911" for emergency medical services and police. At this point, emergency medical services may take those who are seriously injured away from the scene to receive medical treatment at a nearby hospital. In the case of a less-severe car accident, you are required to stop your vehicle and exchange information. Failure to do so would constitute a hit-and-run.
In the event that you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you may be entitled to compensation under an uninsured motorist claim, if your auto insurance policy covers this type of accident. While this type of insurance is geared at providing coverage to those hit by drivers who are uninsured, it can also work in cases where the other driver failed to stop and leave the necessary insurance information. If both drivers stop, as they should, then you will want to collect the following information: names of the occupants of the vehicle, license plate numbers, phone numbers, insurance company information and addresses. These are all pertinent to filing an auto insurance claim.
Once you contact your insurance company to file a claim, you will likely be assigned an employee who will be responsible for handling your claim. They will review your policy with you to make sure that you understand what you are entitled to and what will happen with your claim. At this point, an inspection of your vehicle can be scheduled and a claims adjuster will be assigned to your case. A claims adjuster will evaluate evidence such as medical reports, police reports and information yielded from the vehicle inspection in order to determine what type of settlement should be awarded. This is the point at which many individuals feel the need to contest their insurance company. A Houston car accident attorney can help to see that car accident victims receive the maximum financial compensation possible.