In the aftermath of a car accident, it’s hard to think clearly and figure out the steps to take in order to keep yourself safe and file an insurance claim. If you find yourself in an accident, follow these steps:
1) Check yourself and passengers for injuries
Before moving your vehicle or helping passengers, make sure that you are not injured. Use slow motions and limit your movement because severe injuries are not always apparent. If you are not injured, check your passengers for injuries. If anyone in the vehicle is injured, call 911 immediately.
2) Move to a safe place
If you can, move yourself to the side of the road while you wait for help. If your car is a hazard to other drivers and is safe to drive, move your car to the side of the road. Turn off your engine and turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers to slow down.
3) Call 911
Regardless of the severity of the accident, call the police. They will document the scene, fill out an accident report, as well as provide you with documents for insurance claims.
4) Exchange information with the other driver
Once you know that everyone is uninjured, exchange information with the other driver, including:
– Full name
– Contact information
– Driver’s license
– License plate number
– Make, model, and color of the vehicle
– Location of the accident
While exchanging information and assessing the accident, it’s important to avoid discussing fault with the other driver. Fault will be determined based on an inspection of the vehicles involved, statements provided by you and the other driver, and evidence from the police and other third-parties. Admitting fault at the scene can lead to you losing you claim.
5) Document the site of the accident
There are several things you should do to document the accident, including:
– Identify the police officers and get their names and badge numbers
– Take pictures of the accident, including the vehicles involved, damage to any property around the accident, and street signs and other location identifiers
– Get the names of all people involved in the accident, including bystanders and passengers
– Find out how to obtain a copy of the accident report
6) Notify your insurance company
Call your insurance agency and give them details of the accident as soon as you can. They will give you details on how to file a claim.
7) See a doctor
Although injuries might not be apparent immediately after the accident, it is possible that you might be injured even if you aren’t showing symptoms. See a doctor as soon as you can to make sure that you aren’t hurt.
8) Contact a lawyer
Get in touch with a lawyer to make sure your rights are protected. An experienced lawyer can help you get the benefits you deserve. Contact The Law Offices of Hall & Copetas today for a free consultation.