While teens make up just 7% of the American population, they’re responsible for over 10% of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries.
During their first half a year of driving alone, teens are eight times more likely to die in a collision than more experienced drivers. Therefore, it’s always a relief to find out that your child survived a car accident. But, even so, your entire family is still left to deal with the aftermath.
Let’s look at what steps you should take within 48 hours after the crash.
Reach out to the Authorities
After a crash, your teen should move your car just enough so it doesn’t obstruct traffic. Then they need to contact the police immediately.
Why reach out to authorities? For starters, the other party may become extremely agitated. Police officers can restrain the other driver if the situation escalates. Plus, agreements between drivers usually don’t end well. Just because someone claims they’ll cover the costs doesn’t mean they actually will. The other driver may end up denying the accident even took place.
Take Notes and Photos of the Car Accident
Documenting everything before the tow trucks show up will prove vital to your teen’s case. Remember:
- Pictures of the accident and any resulting injuries can serve as proof later in court. You want to include photos of any skid marks, and you want at least one shot of the license plate and damage in the same picture.
- Exchange names, addresses, and vehicle registration numbers with the other driver, and get a hold of witnesses.
- Have your teen write down the officer’s name and badge number after the police arrive.
- If the driver of the other party wasn’t in the car during the collision, advise your teen to leave a note with their information. Otherwise, your child may face hit-and-run charges later.
Get Medical Treatment for Your Teen
Some teens refuse to seek medical treatment after a car accident. This is especially the case if they don’t feel like there’s anything wrong with them. But not all injuries are immediately apparent, so it’s vital your teen be examined. Medical professionals can uncover issues related to head trauma or internal bleeding.
Also, hold on to any medical expense documents related to the accident.
Speak with Your Insurance Company
The next step involves filing an insurance claim. If you fail to call the insurance company soon enough, they might deny your claim altogether. Remember to be as truthful as possible throughout the entire process, but avoid admitting fault or apologizing, as doing so may imply guilt.
Contact an Attorney
Going through the claims process without help can be very stressful, but a car accident attorney can fill you in on your options and answer any questions you may have. They can also interact with insurance companies on your behalf.
Try asking an attorney the following questions before hiring them:
- What do you specialize in?
- How much experience do you have?
- Do you ever deal with cases like this?
- What do you think about my case?
- What is your approach to handling these types of cases?
Feel free to meet with several lawyers, and choose the one that’s best suited to handle your case.
Following the steps outlined above ensures that you and your family get through this experience swiftly. Keep in mind that your teen should never admit fault. Claims adjusters will determine fault after reviewing and analyzing all the evidence.
Looking for an experienced and knowledgeable car accident lawyer in the Milwaukee area to assist you with your claim? If so, make sure to reach out to Gebhard Law today!