What To Do Immediatley After a Car Accident

Did you know that there are over six million car accidents in the United States every year? Fortunately, in most cases, car accidents only result in damage in to property but, in one in three cases, auto accidents also result in personal injury.

Even if you have never had an accident before or you don’t drive your car very often, there is always the possibility that you could be involved in an accident through no fault of your own. If you are aware of the steps you should take after an auto accident, you will be better prepared to protect yourself and your passengers from injury and you will be aware of what you need to do protect yourself against unfair claims.

Here are the steps you should take if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a road accident:

Stop your vehicle

Whenever you are involved in a car accident, however minor, you should always stop. Never leave the scene of an accident without stopping.

Make the Scene Safe

One of the first things you will need to do is make sure that no one has been injured and the scene of the accident is as safe as possible. To avoid the danger of a further collision, place flares or warning lights around the stationary vehicles, and put your hazard warning lights on. If you are on a busy highway, stand well away from fast-moving oncoming traffic.

Call the emergency services

It is advisable to notify the police of an accident, even if there are no serious injuries. If there are any injuries or there is a fire, then the ambulance and fire services should be notified as well. It’s a good idea to notify the police, even if it is a minor accident, because you will need a police report to file with your insurance claim. If possible, the vehicles should not be moved before the police arrive.

Make a complete record of the accident

When the police arrive it is important that give them an accurate record of what has happened. If you are unsure of any of the details, be honest about it, don’t try to speculate or make assumptions. If you are asked if you are injured, it is better to say that you are unsure, rather than to say no, because some injuries from car accidents only manifest themselves later on. If there are any third-party witnesses to the accident, you should ask them to wait for the police to arrive, so that they can give a statement.

Take photographs

If there is damage to your vehicle, then take photographs of that damage. You should also take photographs of any damage to other vehicles as well. If you have any injuries that are visible, take photographs of that too. Sadly, there are people who will claim that far more damage was done to their vehicle than actually was. A photograph will enable you to dispute a spurious claim against your insurance. While making a record of the accident is important, you should not, of course, impede the work of the emergency services and the police while you are doing it.

Exchange details with the other party

If the police attend the scene of a car accident, they will take all the details of those involved in the accident and of any witnesses. If the police do not attend, you should obtain the names and addresses of all those involved, including passenger and witnesses. You should also exchange insurance details with the drivers of the other vehicles involved. If the police are in attendance, the police should provide you with a police report number. With that you will be able to obtain a copy of the police report into the accident. If the accident occurred on a state highway, you are legally required to report the incident to the police.

Get a medical check up

Even if you don’t think that you have been injured, it is advisable to get a medical check-up as soon as possible after a car accident. Injuries caused by car accidents often don’t become noticeable until several days later. Even low-speed impacts can cause spinal damage and, if you felt dazed by the accident, you may have suffered a mild concussion.

Keep all the paperwork

Keep all the paperwork you have relating of the accident in a file. This should include all correspondence, your insurance claim number, details of the claim adjuster dealing with the claim and the names and telephone numbers of all those involved in the case. You should also keep all the receipts for any expenses that you incur as a result of the accident, including car repairs, medical costs and the cost of a rental car if one was needed.

Seek legal advice

It is advisable to contact an attorney straight away when you have had a car accident. A good attorney will help you protect your rights by advising you on how to make sure that evidence is not destroyed and by giving you advice on the preparation of your statement to your insurance company. They will also help make sure that you receive the proper compensation of a car accident and that you receive the best medical treatment.

5 Harmful Credit Report Myths

As the world rockets toward an all-digital economy, maintaining good credit is more important than ever. With that said, the use of credit cards has increased for everyday purchases, making them a key to participate in online shopping.

A 2015 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco found that the share of American retail purchases made with cash dropped from 40 percent to 32 percent between 2012 and 2015. That’s an astonishing eight percent change in just three years!

Given the importance of credit, it is no wonder that consumers are increasingly worried about their credit scores. Requests for credit reports from American credit reporting agencies have skyrocketed in recent years.

Here are five of the most pernicious myths, along with the facts about maintaining your good credit.

MYTH #1: YOUR CREDIT SCORE IS A SINGLE NUMBER
A credit report does provide a single number to potential lenders, but it contains a great deal of additional information as well. Your credit report includes details about the loans you have taken out and the credit cards you have been issued. Details about your payment history are included. The report contains a wealth of information for the lender. Lenders count on all of that information when making a determination about whether to extend credit, what your credit limit will be, as well as the types of credit you might be eligible for.

America’s three credit reporting agencies almost never report the same score when asked to analyze the same person’s account. There are several reasons for this. Second, different lenders report credit information to different credit reporting agencies. Most lenders report to all three, but many do not. Finally, different lenders may calculate credit scores slightly differently.

That’s just for generic scores. You’re also likely to have a different score calculated according to the specific criteria of lenders in real estate, for instance, and/or auto loans, and department store credit cards. the following

· Current accounts. Note that credit cards and mortgages are analyzed according to different criteria.

· Payment history. Lenders want to know whether you pay your bills on time.

· Outstanding credit. Reporting agencies calculate your outstanding balance compared to your total amount of available credit.

· New credit. If you have recently opened a bunch of new accounts, that could be a red flag.

· Credit history. Lenders want to know how long you have been borrowing.

Thus, lenders take much more into account than a single number.

MYTH #2: CHECKING YOUR CREDIT REPORT WILL HURT YOUR SCORE
This pestilent myth has a basis in fact. If your credit report shows a great many inquiries from potential lenders, that may indicate you are in financial trouble and shopping around for loans. A flurry of requests for credit reports can be a red flag.

The credit reports you request don’t show up as negatives on your history. In fact, many lenders believe it is a positive sign that consumers stay on top of their indebtedness by checking their credit histories at least once a year. It’s part of good credit management. Requesting a credit report is more likely to increase than diminish your chances of getting new credit approved.

MYTH #3: THE BEST WAY TO IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT SCORE IS TO PAY OFF ALL YOUR ACCOUNTS AND CLOSE THEM
This myth is partially correct.

Conversely, closing your accounts can have the opposite effect. Lenders and reporting agencies care about how much of your current credit limit you are currently using. That is, they are less interested in how much you owe than in how much you owe compared to how much you are approved to borrow. Sounds complicated, right? Think of it as a ratio. The following example will help shed more light.

If you owe $5,000 in credit card debt, that may not be significant if your credit limit across several cards is $30,000. On the other hand, if you have just one card with a limit of $5,000, then the $5,000 in current debt is quite significant and may disqualify you from opening an account with a second lender.

When you pay off your credit cards, you are decreasing the ratio of credit used to approved credit. That’s great. When you close the accounts, your approved credit is reduced, and that means future credit purchases will represent a higher utilization of your total approved credit. In other words, closing the accounts actually hurts your credit score.

MYTH #4: A BAD PAYMENT HISTORY DOESN’T AFFECT CREDIT SCORES ONCE ACCOUNTS ARE UP TO DATE
Unfortunately, getting caught up on payments doesn’t erase your history of late payments, accounts referred to collections, and bankruptcies. All of that information stays on your report for up to seven years – or longer, depending on the type of bankruptcy.

Getting current is still important. It’s a great sign and it reassures lenders that you are serious about paying your debts. Lenders understand that sometimes circumstances cause us to fall behind on payments. What they need to see is that you are committed to repaying what you borrow and that you don’t walk away from debt.

Missed payments stay on your credit report for three years. If you are a good customer but you are temporarily having trouble paying your bills, it’s worth calling the lender to see if you can reschedule payments. Many lenders are willing to work with customers to allow a few months without payments as long as they are arranged in advance. These arrangements are not reported to credit agencies and do not harm your credit score.

That said, it is still true that a bad payment history continues to affect your credit score for years, even after you have brought the accounts current.

MYTH #5: ALL CREDIT REPAIR SERVICES ARE SCAMS
Corrupt companies have given the credit repair industry a bad name. A simple Google search will reveal many companies that promise to erase derogatory information in your credit report for a fee.

Reputable credit repair companies do exist, doing a lot of good for a lot of people. They understand the rules about credit reporting and how to use those rules to improve your score.

Credit repair services can have incorrect and harmful information removed from your report.

Repair services might advise you to petition creditors for goodwill corrections, in which they remove information about a few late payments from an otherwise unblemished account history. effective A reputable agency can also provide reliable advice on prioritizing payments to existing accounts, applying for new credit, paying down your old debt, and much more.

Many lenders give extra weight to recent credit activity. Showing a trend toward responsible debt repayment can persuade them to be more forthcoming when extending new credit and favorable terms. Follow your credit repair agency’s advice and you could well find yourself with a higher score and more access to home loans, auto loans, and credit cards than you dreamed possible.