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When you have been involved in an auto accident you have a legal duty to mitigate the damages incurred. This duty covers a number of aspects that involve health, personal property and more. Knowing what to do immediately after, and in the weeks following an accident, can make a decided difference in the compensation that you may receive.

Make Sure Everyone is Okay

This duty is especially important if you have passengers who are injured. Clark Chiropractic Clinic suggests that immediately following the accident, check the condition of passengers in your vehicle and if necessary, call for an ambulance. Showing concern for others before yourself is a reasonable step that you should take whether or not you are responsible for the collision. Perform this action before calling police to the scene. You’ll need the police report for further documentation with insurance companies and possible lawsuits.

Get Yourself (and Your Car) Checked Out

Craig Swapp warns that medical bills are only one of the various ways a collision can cost you money. Sometimes injuries resulting from auto accidents don’t manifest themselves immediately. Even if you feel fine, get a doctor’s evaluation with a few days to head off any future problems.

Likewise, if the fender-bender is minor and there is only cosmetic damage, don’t assume that your vehicle doesn’t have further damage. Take it to a trusted mechanic, body shop or to your car dealer for an inspection. You may have damage to the suspension or other parts of your vehicle that can compromise your safety.

Collect All Necessary Information

Encompass Insurance recommends that in addition to the police report, make sure you have the names and contact information of all drivers involved in the accident, along with their insurance information. If there are witnesses to the accident, make sure to get their information, too. In some cases, their testimony could be critical to your claim. Take photos of the accident that shows all visible damage.

Touch Up Your Detailing

Letting scratches and other cosmetic imperfections remain after an incident can affect the value of your vehicle. Paint blemishes caused by accidents can cause rust and corrosion down the road and ultimately lead to more expensive body shop repairs.

Taking care of your vehicle and yourself in a reasonable amount of time following an accident will go a long way toward ensuring that you’ll get the settlement you deserve and avoid unnecessary expenses.
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