Auto accidents are never easy to deal with. They often leave victims frantic and stressed, not knowing what to do or who to call. It is important to know the steps to take after an accident, which will preserve your rights and get you the help you need. Here are some tips to guide you through the accident process and ensure optimal results.
Step 1: Call 911
Many people believe calling 911 for a small auto accident is excessive, but it’s not. It is actually in your best interest. It is imperative for you to retrieve a police report because it will help with providing evidence for your case later on in regards to determining liability. You must check to see if you have any injuries, and if you are able, check to see if anyone else involved in the accident has any injuries. If you are unable to move, wait for someone to come to your aid and have them call 911.
In addition, by calling the police, you will likely get a police report for the auto accident. Obtaining a police report helps avoid the game of “he said, she said” when dealing with adjusters. It also solidifies the facts of the auto accident and can determine who is really at fault.
Step 2: Take Pictures and Videos
Make sure to take pictures and videos of your injuries, the damaged vehicles involved, and the accident scene (no u-turn signs, yield signs, stop signs, street lights, and the other surrounding environment). You should also take pictures of the other party’s insurance information, license plate, and driver’s license information. Never allow someone to leave the scene before all of this is done.
Lastly, videotape witnesses or record them to get their statement if they give their consent.
All of these pictures and videos are hard evidence of what happened and are very valuable to your case.
Step 3: Handling Serious Injuries
If you have a serious injury and feel as if you cannot drive, call an ambulance. Do not worry about the cost. Once your case is settled, you will be reimbursed for the cost of the ride, in addition to any other medical costs. Taking an ambulance will guarantee a police report and medical report. Above all else, it’s best for your health and safety.
Step 4: Keep Track of All Paperwork
Keep a file of all police reports, medical reports, hospital bills, personal information of both parties, insurance information, and other relevant records. Even if you don’t think it’s important, it could be helpful to your attorney, so keep track of everything. Even matters such as text messages between parties affiliated with the incident can count as evidence. Every little thing should be kept on record and relayed to your attorney.
We hope you never have to go through something like this, but if you do, stay calm and follow these guidelines. If you follow each of these steps, then we are confident you will be able to recover all costs from the guilty party.
If you would like an information packet with the details of what to do after an accident, then reach out to us. The packet is small enough to keep in your glove compartment. In addition, if you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, contact us any time.