As a parent, when of the most frightening experiences may be finding out that your teenager has been involved in his or her first traffic accident. While the tendency might be to panic, when your teenager calls for help, remaining calm and rational can enable you to help your child, even from miles away. Here are a few tips to get you and your teen through this first car crash.
This goes for your teen, as well as for yourself. The important thing is to assure your teen child that you’ll get to him or her as soon as possible. As terrified as your child might be, it’s important to stay strong and be supportive in this time of need.
Call the Police
Certainly, as a parent, you want to be there by the time the police arrive at the scene of the accident. Even so, a call to the police can’t be delayed. It’s important to call the police, as soon as you finish talking to your child, so emergency services can arrive promptly.
This is important and it’s something you should tell your teen to do, even before you arrive at the scene. This includes gathering names and insurance information, but make sure your child knows to avoid admitting fault to anyone. That’s for the police to determine. Photos can also be taken in addition to gathering personal information from other drivers.
Contact a Lawyer
Regardless of who is found to be at fault, your teenager will need representation in dealing with insurance companies and possible legal proceedings. It’s never too soon to contact auto accident lawyers to help in establishing your child’s side of the situation. Even at the time of the accident, a lawyer can be useful in advising you and your teen of your legal rights.
Get Your Child Checked out by a Doctor
This is important, whether your teenager feels injured or not. Some injuries may not be readily apparent, but can develop later. Claims with the insurance companies will go more smoothly with documentation of medical treatment, as well. Additionally, this establishes a chain of evidence, if the participants in the accident ends up in litigation.
Filing a Claim
Now that the crisis has abated, it’s time to contact the insurance company and file a claim. If your teenager was found to not be at fault, a negotiating process will likely begin. Again, this is where your lawyer will come into play, ensuring the insurance company doesn’t try to pay out less than you deserve. Any offers should be discussed with your attorney, prior to signing off on them.