Tips for You, Your Loved One, and the Car After an Auto Accident

Getting into a car crash is a scary, frustrating, and sometimes confusing experience. That’s why you need as many car accident tips as possible to help you figure out how to deal with the situation.

Below, we’ve organized some car accident tips based on not just your needs but also the needs of your damaged property and potentially injured passengers. Contact your personal injury lawyer and your wrongful death lawyer to guide you throughout every detail of your accident. Use these car accident tips to guide your steps after getting into a car wreck.

Seek Out Immediate Emergency Care

Even if you feel okay after a collision, you’ll definitely want to get medical care right away. Often, drivers and passengers go into shock after a car accident. This leaves them unable to tell if they’ve been hurt. In fact, people sometimes don’t even realize they have serious lacerations, bruising, or broken bones.

You’ll want to go to an urgent care facility or emergency room if an ambulance doesn’t come onsite to your crash. Alternatively, if you’re pretty sure you’re okay, make an appointment with your family physician the next day. You’ll be glad you followed this as one of the most important car accident tips, especially if you discover a physical problem that you didn’t recognize immediately after the incident.

Remember, too, that you’ll want to keep any documentation of visits to medical professionals related to your crash. This is important because if you do suffer any physical injuries that can be linked to the collision, your medicare insurance or the insurance of the at-fault driver will likely cover some, most, or all of your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. An auto accident attorney can secure all of these documents for you.

Stay Focused on Treating Your Potential Injury

Even if you don’t get any kind of help from insurance to pay for your medical bills after a crash, you deserve to keep up with everything from your pain management treatment to physical therapy sessions. This is one of those car accident tips that may be tough to follow, it’s true. Seeing your credit card bills pile up isn’t fun or easy. And it may require you to ask friends or family members for temporary financial assistance.

Nevertheless, getting the care you need is vital for your long-term health after suffering any kind of medical injury during a collision. For instance, let’s say you require emergency dental service because a few teeth were damaged when you and another vehicle crashed. If you put off your dental service too long, the problem could exacerbate. You could then wind up with even more issues later on, potentially losing your teeth or even causing harm to your jawbone.

To be sure, of all the car accident tips that you’re going to read about, this is the one that many people try to avoid. Even if they know they should be going to a doctor, dentist, car accident chiropractor, or another specialist, they turn the other way. Don’t. You deserve to feel like your old self again, or as close to it as possible. The last thing you want is to turn your situation worse just because you’re worried about money and expensive bills.

Figure Out Your Liability

What’s one of the biggest questions everyone asks after a crash? “Who’s responsible?” Sometimes, liability seems easy to figure out, as in the case of someone rear-ending another person. Other times, even seasoned police officers and insurance adjusters have difficulty figuring out who to blame for the incident, and would have to consult a personal injury lawyer.

As far as car accident tips go, you’ll want to avoid admitting to any guilt directly after the accident, even if you think you might be at fault. Why? To be honest, you may not know the whole story. For example, let’s say you rear-ended the car in front of you. What you might not know is that the driver of the car in front of you was driving under the influence at the time. In that case, you might not be held responsible.

Actually, it’s not really your job to figure out your liability in any crash. That’s up to the experts, who will often scour through witness evidence, look at the police reports, and look at parking lot surveillance systems from nearby. However, you may want to consider getting legal representation if you think you’re in over your head talking to insurance adjusters, or if you haven’t been found liable but are being offered an unappealing settlement offer.

Your Financial Situation

As mentioned before in previous car accident tips, your financial situation may be affected by mounting medical costs such as pharmaceuticals, appointments, diagnostic tests, and perhaps surgery. This doesn’t even consider how you could be affected if you have to purchase a new car, rent a car temporarily, replace personal items lost during the collision like expensive devices, or lose wages because you couldn’t work post-crash.

To help you manage this aspect of getting into a moderate or serious level wreck, you’ll want to first go over your finances. Look into your credit history and make a list of all your debts, including a home or car loan. Then, sift through the expenses on your plate. Are there any that you can put off until later? Could you perhaps stick with your older garage door rather than contact a garage door services provider to buy a new one? Can you get out of your upcoming one-week vacation without losing too many dollars?

Understanding your own financial situation can help you move forward with more confidence and less stress. Hopefully, if the accident wasn’t your fault, you’ll be able to recover some of the damages. That will assist in making you fiscally whole again. However, it can take a long time to get a check from an insurance carrier, so you probably will need to be patient. You may even need to tighten your belt a little in the meantime. It’s not exciting, but it’s a reality when you’ve been in a car accident.

Explore Your Financial Options

Let’s take these money-related car accident tips a bit further and pretend that you’re not in a good place financially. Maybe you’re a college student struggling to get by with a hot plate and Ramen noodles for dinner every night. Perhaps you’re a senior citizen on a very fixed income. If you don’t have much savings to speak of, you may want to start looking for financial help.

If you’re already collecting social security, you may want to talk with a social security advocate who can help you. Or if you’re owed social security and are trying to collect it, you need to speak with a social security representative. Do you have some kind of investments or a retirement portfolio? If you’re in need of cash, you could probably speak with a certified broker dealer to talk about your options.

Another way to boost your finances is to simply take on another job. Obviously, you may not be able to become a third-party driver for Uber or Lyft, especially if you don’t have a dedicated vehicle to get you from place to place. But there are lots of part-time jobs available for people who are interested in working. No, you won’t make huge amounts of money. Nevertheless, you can definitely help yourself take a bite out of your accident-linked bills.

Looking for yet more solutions to your money woes? You can turn to friends and relatives who could loan you money, or get personal loans from reliable companies. Just take these car accident tips to heart and remind yourself that when you exchange dollars between you and buddies, you need to determine upfront if it’s a gift or loan. Your pal might tell you verbally that money is a gift, only to change her mind later. So get everything in writing and have a contract that outlines a way for you to pay her back, potentially with some kind of interest. Doing so will help protect your friendship and reduce the chances of friction down the road.

Try Avoiding Potential Car Accidents in the Future

As far as car accident tips go, a biggie is making sure that any crash you’re involved in is the last one you need to worry about. Period.

Avoiding car accidents can’t always be done, of course. Sometimes, a wreck isn’t your fault and you couldn’t have foreseen it. However, some crashes are preventable. For example, statistics show that around three-quarters of all cars being driven should really be repaired or at least checked out. Yours might be among them.

To lower your likelihood of getting into a similar collision to the one that left you with all your current woes, be sure to maintain your vehicle properly. Get the fluids replaced and topped off on a regular basis, check your tire pressure, and just take good care of your four-wheeled investment. Additionally, when you’re driving, always pay attention to what you’re doing. Distracted driving causes a lot of crashes and so does speeding. It’s much better to concentrate on what you’re doing and avoid texting while driving as well as driving too quickly.

Get Advice About Your Legal Situation

Did you get hurt because of someone else’s negligent driving behaviors? You might not have considered it, but you could always call an auto accident lawyer. These types of attorneys represent clients who have been hurt in crashes that weren’t their fault. The more serious your injury, the more likely you’ll find a car accident lawyer who’s willing to take on your case for no upfront fee.

How will your attorney get paid, then? Attorneys who work with car accident victims get paid by taking a percentage of the settlement they negotiate with the insurance carrier that handles the auto insurance policy of those involved. If they cannot reach a settlement, the attorney may petition the court to make a judgment.

Most auto accident lawyer firms who work in this field offer free consultations. You’ll just call in and discuss your situation with them. You may even meet on Zoom or in person instead of over the phone. Be very honest and let them know everything about your case. A decent attorney will be transparent about whether or not you should try to get a better settlement than you’re being offered currently.

How do you know what lawyer to try? Ask around. Your colleagues or neighbors may have suggestions. You can also check on the Internet for reputable legal representatives and firms that work in this type of law.

Remember to Consider Your Loved One’s Well-Being

Were you the only one hurt in your car crash or were other people in the vehicle with you at the time of the collision? If you had other people with you, make sure you take care of their needs. This could mean anyone from your children who live in your household to your aging parents who reside in assisted living apartments.

In the case of your kids, you’ll want to get them medically examined after the wreck. You’ll also want to talk with them about what they experienced. Youngsters may not be able to fully piece together what happened. They may also worry that the crash was somehow their fault for doing or not doing something. Encourage them to tell you what they’re feeling. This is another of those car accident tips that will pay off handsomely because your children will feel less anxious and more relieved.

Take Care of Your Own Well-Being

You’ve been through a lot, even if the car crash you were in was nothing more than a fender bender and you walked away with a few scratches. Therefore, take some time for a bit of self-care.

What can you do to take away the sting of the event? You may want to take a few hours to just enjoy yourself by doing something you love, like a fun hobby. Or you could ask a friend to join you at a local diner for a slice of homemade pie. Whatever you decide, make sure you let your hair down. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, either, to feel a little less stressed.

Taking care of yourself is one of those car accident tips that you may not hear anywhere else. However, it’s important that you get through this experience without letting it totally get you down. As long as everyone was okay after the wreck, you can count yourself pretty lucky.

Dealing with Car Repairs Can Be Expensive

You need to vent about your Friday morning!
Your car had been at the dealership for the last three weeks due to an engine light. The delay was caused by the dealer having to wait on a part. You finally got your back on Thursday, but the next morning when you turned on your car it initially started but turned right off then would not restart. As soon as you stepped out of the car and smelled gas. You called your husband who had just gotten to work and was on covid duty in the parking lot. While waiting for him to get home, you were fuming and called the dealership to let them know what happened. In the end you had to call roadside assistance and wait on a tow truck to take it back to the dealership. Your husband returned home and tried to start the vehicle and confirmed that it would not start.
After this attempt by your husband you heard a gushing sound and look under the car to find all of the gas is pouring out from the engine area. In the end your garage had a full tank o Continue reading “Dealing with Car Repairs Can Be Expensive”

10 Signs You Need Help with Car Repairs

Many car owners are capable of handling minor maintenance and repairs. For example, fluid top-offs, air filter replacements, and tire pressure checks are all within the skill of most drivers.

However, for more complicated problems such as auto heating repair, drivers will need help with car repairs because of the complexity of the vehicle or the repair. Here are some signs that you will need help with car repairs:

Burning Smells

If you smell burning when you drive, you need help with car repairs immediately because:

  • Toxic fumes: Many of the fluids used in your car are toxic. Gasoline, brake fluid, and antifreeze can produce vapors that can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, and even blackouts.
  • Fire hazard: Burning smells mean that something is getting heated. Burning fluids, smoking belts, melting wire insulation, and grinding parts can catch fire.
  • Loss of fluids: If fluids are leaking and burning when they hit hot engine parts, you could suffer a catastrophic fluid loss and lose your steering, brakes, or transmission.
  • Broken belts: If the burning smell is coming from a burning belt, the belt could break. Depending on which belt breaks, your vehicle could be disabled.
  • Melting wires: When the plastic insulation on wires is heated, it can produce a burning smell. Heated wires suggest that a short circuit has occurred and too much electric current is passing through the wires. An immediate auto repair might be needed to avoid damaging the electric system or starting an electrical fire.

While car maintenance services like topping off fluids and checking belts can reduce the chances of burning smells, once they start, you need help with car repairs to avoid a catastrophe.

Soft Brakes

If your brakes feel soft when you press on them, or the brake pedal returns very slowly, you need help with car repairs immediately.

Soft or spongy brakes usually means a loss of brake fluid or brake pressure. A loss of fluid or pressure means that when you press on your brake pedal, your brakes might not react, react slowly, or react with insufficient force to stop your vehicle. In essence, you would be driving without brakes if you drive with your vehicle in this condition.

Aside from creating problems for yourself, driving a car that effectively lacks brakes turns you into a danger to other drivers and pedestrians. Critically, driving when you know that your vehicle does not work can expose you to both criminal and civil liability if you cause a crash. Specifically, driving a car with no brakes would be considered negligence that would justify any car accident lawyer to file a lawsuit against you and could even justify charges of reckless driving from a prosecutor.

Rough Shifting

If your transmission shifts roughly or you hear slipping or clunking when your transmission shifts, you might need help with a car repair soon. Transmission service can extend the life of your transmission, but the transmission will eventually wear down.

The transmission transfers power from the engine to the drivetrain. This means that your transmission will endure some of the greatest stresses in your vehicle. Moreover, your driving habits can worsen the strain on your transmission. Some habits can that shorten your transmission’s life include:

  • Not coming to a complete stop before shifting. A very common habit is to shift from reverse into drive before coming to a complete stop. Drivers who are in a rush to pull out of a parking space or driveway can damage their transmission this way.
  • Rapid starts. Accelerating rapidly can stress the transmission. When a vehicle is stopped, the vehicle requires a lot of power to get moving. All this power flows through the transmission. Smooth acceleration will make sure this power does not damage the transmission.
  • Running out of transmission fluid. The transmission fluid keeps gears shifting smoothly and keeps the transmission cool. When the transmission fluid runs low, the transmission can suffer serious damage. Moreover, when a automotive mechanic checks the transmission fluid, the fluid and the drain bolt can be checked for metal shavings that might signify transmission wear.

Rough Ride

Some vehicles ride rougher than others by their nature. For example, SUVs and trucks, particularly used and pre owned SUVs and trucks, have a rougher ride than sedans. However, if you notice your vehicle’s ride has become rougher, you probably need help with car repairs.

Some signs that your suspension needs repairs include:

  • Your vehicle pulls to one side.
  • Your suspension bottoms out or bounces when going over bumps or gutters.
  • The front of your car dives when you brake.
  • Your tires show uneven tread wear.

These symptoms can indicate worn or broken shock absorbers, springs, and struts. Not only will broken suspension parts make your ride rougher, but it can also be dangerous. A vehicle with a broken suspension is more difficult to control and stop.

Unusual Sounds

Many sounds produced by your car signify that you need help with car repairs. Some of the sounds you might hear include:

  • Groaning, grinding, and straining pumps: In some vehicles, you will be able to hear the water pump, fuel pump, and power steering pump when it begins to break down.
  • Squealing, rattling, or grinding brakes: Brake pads are designed to make noise when they are wearing down. If your brakes make noise when you step on the brake pedal, your brake pads might need replacement.
  • Ticking or clicking axles: Ticking or clicking that speeds up and slows down as your wheels turn faster and slower is a classic symptom of a torn constant velocity (CV) boot. The clicking happens when dirt has gotten into the CV joint. Without getting too technical about what the CV joint does, a failed CV joint will stop the wheel from turning, likely leading to an accident.
  • Knocking engine: While a knocking engine can have an innocent explanation, such as poor quality or low octane fuel, it can also signify low engine oil. When an engine runs low on oil, the engine may knock because parts are not properly lubricated. A loss of engine oil will make the car more prone to overheating, which can permanently damage the engine.
  • Hissing: The sound of air escaping can result from loose fittings or broken hoses. However, the most serious hissing sound would come from a vacuum leak. Since the vacuum pump operates the brake booster, a vacuum leak can lead to brake failure
  • Rattling: Rattling can have many causes. A loose heat shield, corrosion, or even something dangling from your car hitting the asphalt paving. However, when you hear rattling, you need help with car repairs because the rattling could be caused by a loose or damaged catalytic converter. If left unrepaired, the loose or damaged catalytic converter can be expensive to fix and will allow your car to emit toxic smog.
  • Backfiring: When a car backfires, it usually has a problem with the ignition or fuel system. If you do not repair the problem causing the backfiring, the heat and shock from the exploding gases can damage your exhaust system.

Collision

Although getting help after an accident might seem obvious, some minor accidents might lead a car owner to believe that they do not need help with car repairs. However, you should have a mechanic look at a car after every accident, including minor accidents.

A few reasons to seek out help after every collision include:

  • Hidden damage: Some forms of damage might not be immediately apparent. One example is frame damage. However, a bent or broken frame might cause a myriad of problems, including uneven tire wear and steering problems.
  • Insurance claim: Damage caused by an accident is included in the accident claim that you file with your insurance company or that your car accident injury lawyer files with the other driver’s insurance company. If you delay in finding out whether your car has been damaged, the insurance company might deny your claim by taking the position that causation cannot be proven due to the delay. Find yourself a secure deal from an independent auto agent.
  • Danger: Some damage to a vehicle can create a serious risk of injury. For example, damage to the brakes, steering, or fuel system can leave a driver and passengers open to another accident when the vehicle fails.

Parts Falling or Hanging from Vehicle

If you notice anything hanging from your vehicle, or hear parts fall off your car, you probably need help with car repairs. Often, a mechanic might need to be consulted to determine what fell off or is hanging from your vehicle. Even more importantly, a mechanic at an auto repair shop will be needed to determine how to reattach or replace the damaged part.

Occasionally, the broken part will be non-essential and can be removed safely. For example, a heat shield is a piece of metal that protects the car from the heat from the catalytic converter. Although the heat shield is important, the car can function without it. If you want to ensure that the heat from the catalytic converter is contained, you can have a metal fabrication shop make a replacement heat shield.

Other hanging, loose, or falling parts should be repaired as soon as possible. Wires, hoses, and nuts and bolts can work loose with the vibration from the vehicle. If these parts fall from the vehicle, a serious problem could develop, leading to an accident.

For example, a loose or dangling headlight, tail light, or turn light can leave a vehicle invisible to others or leave others unable to anticipate what the vehicle might do. Remounting or replacing the broken light might help the car’s owner avoid a citation and avoid an accident.

Smoke

A vehicle that produces abnormal amounts of smoke can be a danger to other drivers. More importantly, smoke may indicate a serious problem with your vehicle that signifies that you need help with car repairs.

Specifically, smoke can arise from a few places that might suggest a serious problem:

  • Tailpipe: Smoke from the tailpipe suggests that something is leaking into the engine cylinders. For example, white smoke indicates coolant is leaking into the cylinders, gray smoke suggests and oil leak, and black smoke might be caused by unburned gasoline.
  • Under the hood: Smoke from under the hood means that fluids are spraying onto the hot engine and evaporating or burning. A leak in a radiator or radiator hose might be detected when white smoke appears from under the hood.
  • Passenger cabin: Smoke inside the passenger cabin might be caused by burning carpet or melting wires. In either case, having a mechanic identify the source of the smoke might save your life. Occasionally, the burning carpet might be caused by contaminants on the carpet burning and can be cleared up with cleaning and dirt removal.

Broken Windshield

Whether you drive on roads that are undeveloped or roads covered with asphalt paving, your windshield is always at risk of cracks and chips. If you have a damaged windshield, you probably need help with car repairs.

A broken windshield poses a few risks to drivers and passengers:

  • A cracked windshield can fail in a collision. Under normal circumstances, the safety glass used to make windshields resists shattering. However, a windshield that is compromised with cracks might fracture, sending glass into the passenger cabin after a collision.
  • A damaged windshield can be a distraction or even create blind spots where the driver cannot see pedestrians or traffic lead to about 845,000 accidents every year. Recognition errors include errors due to distractions, blind spots, and improper lookout, all of which can be compounded by a damaged windshield.
  • Cracks and chips in the windshield can create glare under some lighting conditions. Driving at night, for example, nearly doubles the risk of a collision. Glare from a damaged windshield can compound these risks.

Warning Lights

Your dashboard and instrument panel has many warning lights. The seatbelt light, engine light, oil pressure light, temperature light, and other warning lights are intended to notify you of potential problems so you can stop and determine whether you need help with car repairs before a breakdown.

According to surveys, nearly 80% of cars need maintenance or repairs. Occasionally, a warning light merely informs you that the prescribed time or mileage since your last service has passed. However, in many other circumstances, ignoring a warning light might lead to a serious problem that requires car roadside assistance services to fix. For example, a warning light might indicate that a sensor has detected a problem or has failed.

The process used by a mechanic when your warning lights illuminate includes:

  • Code: A computer is connected to your vehicle’s computer to read the code causing the warning light. The computer needed to read the code can be found at most independent repair shops, auto parts stores, and authorized service centers.
  • Inspection: The mechanic inspects the system identified as problematic by the code read from the computer.
  • Repair: The technician repairs the faulty system or part. This could range from replacing a faulty part to adjusting the car’s computer.
  • Reset: The car’s computer is reset, clearing the code.

Knowing when your car needs repairs can be critical to avoiding damage to your vehicle, reducing the risk of an accident, saving money, and preventing harm to the driver and passengers.

For example, many fire hazards are preceded by signs, such as burning smells and smoke, that tell you that your car needs immediate service. However, if you remain vigilant for the signs of a problem before it happens, you can prevent a minor issue that can be easily repaired from turning into a tragedy.

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