What if you had the worst day of your life and it kept going downhill?
You might think a head on collision is as bad as your day can get. But if you don’t know what to do next, the coming months may become a living hell.
Fortunately, you can make the process easier with just a few simple steps. Keep reading to discover how to make processing your claim easier!
We’ve prepared a comprehensive guide for what to do after your collision. First, though, it’s important to address some of the potential causes of such a collision.
The likeliest culprit of most collisions is alcohol. If either (or both) drivers are impaired, it makes a collision that much likelier.
Dangerous passing is another major cause. When people try to pass on a 2-way road with minimal visibility, they may not see an oncoming car until it’s too late.
Distracted driving is another cause of many direct collisions, and the cell phone is the main cause of distraction. Both talking and texting takes the driver’s eyes off the road and this can lead to dangerous accidents.
Drowsy driving is similar in many ways to impaired driving. Sleepy drivers often pass out while driving, and even a momentary lapse can lead to a potentially fatal collision.
Finally, various road conditions contribute to the likelihood of crashing. Everything from inclement weather to animals to potholes may cause one driver to accidentally swerve into another driver.
Who Is At Fault?
Every head-on collision involves two different drivers. However, only one of them will be legally at fault for causing the crash in most cases.
The fault is important for determining exactly how much a person will get from their insurance settlement. In some cases, fault helps to cancel out other factors that are otherwise important.
For example, insurance claims often take the pain and suffering into account (even in smaller accidents). But it’s entirely possible for the person at fault to suffer from severe and costly injuries and trauma.
Despite those high costs, being at fault is ultimately likely to reduce how much such a person can get from a settlement.
Most of the time, who is at fault is a clear-cut issue. However, there are certain mitigating factors that make it difficult to assign fault.
One example of this is if both drivers were distracted by their cellphones. In this case, they may share potentially equal responsibility for what happened.
Environmental factors may also influence the outcome. Someone may not be fully responsible for how they drove over unexpectedly ice roads or bridges.
Mitigating factors can be very important, so you need to pay close attention to the arguments of the insurance company. This helps you determine your odds of getting the settlement you deserve.
On the Scene: Steps to Take
You’ve probably figured out that your odds go up if you can make the best possible case for yourself. This starts with gathering evidence, and you can do that at the scene of the accident.
First, check for any potential witnesses in the area. Ask them about what they saw and get their contact information; you may need it later on.
Second, start taking pictures. When you are making an argument as to how severe this accident was, photographic evidence goes a long way.
Third, request a copy of the accident report. This would have been filed by the police (assuming that the police got involved).
Finally, write down as many details about what happened as soon as you can. It’s important to do this while the memories are fresh instead of waiting weeks or months and forgetting important details.
Head On Collision Injuries
As we noted, the amount of your insurance settlement may be tied to how much pain and suffering you experienced. And that is tied to the types of injuries that you suffered.
There are 4 basic kinds of collision injuries. This includes spinal injuries, neck injuries, internal injuries, and leg injuries.
On top of this, there may also be secondary injuries from things like flying glass hitting your body. Debris and the movement of vehicles may also lead to secondary injuries.
Both types of injury factor into your ongoing pain and ongoing medical costs. Keep detailed records of your medical examinations, records, and bills.
Keep Yourself Safe
Here is something you may have already figured out: you may not always see eye-to-eye with your insurance company.
In a way, you have completely opposing goals. You are trying to get the highest possible settlement and the insurance company is trying to pay out as little as possible.
Keep calm and polite, but understand that you need to prepare yourself before all insurance company interactions.
Familiarize yourself with the types of questions they are likely to ask and have answers at the ready. And don’t forget to mention the evidence you have documented that can help with your claim.
Ultimately, your best bet is to choose a good insurance company before anything serious happens!
Do You Need An Attorney?
We have mentioned a few scenarios where you may need professional assistance. But how can you tell when it’s worthwhile to call in a pro?
It mostly comes down to calculating damages and dealing with the insurance company. If you can handle both on your own, you don’t need an attorney.
Some compensation calculations are easy. You may be able to add up missing wages and medical costs and then a small multiplier for your pain and suffering.
If your injuries are more severe (even life-changing), it’s worth it to get an attorney to calculate the full value. But if you can reach agreeable terms with the insurance company on your own, you may save a lot of money on attorney fees.
Beyond the Accident: Your Next Steps
Now you know what to do after a head on collision. But do you know which insurance company will take care of you the entire time?
We take pride in taking care of drivers throughout the Raleigh area. To see how we can help with your automobile insurance, just contact us today!