Dealing with the aftereffects of a car accident

You're driving along a Montana highway, listening to your favorite song and the next thing you know, you're being extricated from your car by a team of first responders and told that you are going to be alright.

In 2011, the Montana Department of Transportation reported over 20,000 vehicle crashes taking place. While not every accident is going to result in serious injury, any kind of accident is going to likely require insurance claims, medical bills, car repair costs and other damages. By being prepared ahead of time, you will know exactly what to expect and how to handle those challenges.

Create a plan

Having a plan will enable you to stay calm and focused in the event of a car accident. This plan should include creating an accident kit that you can easily assemble and keeping it in your car where it can be accessed. Inside the accident kit, it is a good idea to have the following items:

  • Disposable camera to take pictures of the damage and the scene
  • Pen and paper
  • Your medical information (and for each member of your family)
  • Insurance information
  • A form to help you remember all of the questions you need to ask
  • Emergency contact information (including next of kin)

In addition to having an accident kit, you should take the time to become familiar with your insurance policy. Does your insurance provide free towing or a rental car while yours is being repaired? What is your deductible? Will your insurance premiums go up even if the car accident is not your fault? Reviewing your insurance coverage can help you decide if you have the protection that you need when, and if, you need it.

Seeking compensation

Depending on the severity of the accident, you may need to obtain compensation for any injuries or to cover the costs associated with the death of a family member. Generally, you will need to file an insurance claim but if the accident was not your fault, there is a chance that the other driver's insurance company will deny a portion of your claim.

It may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to seek the money to which you may be legally entitled. This money can be used to pay medical bills, funeral costs, repairs to your car, or even replacement of your vehicle if it was totaled and pain and suffering connected to the accident. If you have prepared ahead of time, you will likely have the evidence to prove that your claims are legitimate.

Seeking compensation can be complicated, if you have been in an accident you will likely benefit from the help of an experienced personal injury.