When you're involved in a car accident, there are some things you need to do to maintain your safety and the safety of others involved. The first thing you should do is to bring your vehicle to a stop.
You've just been in an accident and you're not sure of the next steps to take. Here is a checklist of things you should do to ensure the safety of everyone at the scene.
Assess the damage
Before you do anything else, assess the extent of the damage for all parties involved. This will give you the information you need to communicate with the authorities and ambulance crew.
You may be able to settle the incident without lawyers in the event of a minor accident. The Joe Stephens Law Firm has compiled a comprehensive to help you do just that. This guide will educate you on the negotiation and settlement process before you speak to an insurance adjuster.
Call the authorities
In any kind of motor vehicle accident, contacting the police is necessary. They will ensure that all the accident information is recorded in a report. This is particularly useful in the event of serious accidents that may have to be settled in court. Try to get the investigating officer's name and badge number so that you can get a copy of the report.
In the event of serious injury, paramedics will need to be alerted. Don't try to move anyone who seems to be in pain or is injured. You may cause further damage if you try to intervene. Wait for the authorities to arrive. They will handle the situation in a way that will protect injured persons.
Exchange contact information while you wait for the authorities to arrive and avoid talking about the accident with those involved. Get information like their name, phone number, insurance details, driver's license number and registration. Additionally, take down the date, time and location of the accident.
If you don't have access to the accident report, this information will come in handy, especially if you decide to settle the matter without lawyers. If there are witnesses or bystanders, take down their information as well. They might have a vantage point of the accident that you don't.
Contact your insurer
Even if the accident is not your fault, you will need to contact your insurance provider to inform them that you were involved in an accident. The sooner you do this, the better, especially if you're still at the scene. Police will be able to give more accurate information, so let them assist you in that regard.
A few days after the accident, you should be contacted by the other party's insurer. If they don't contact you, go direct and let them know that you were involved in an accident with one of their drivers. Give only basic information. Don't provide any recorded statements, especially if attorneys get involved, as this could hurt your case.
There are instances when a car accident results in irreparable damage, like personal injury and death. Any serious car accidents that result in loss of income, medical expenses over $5000 or as a result of drunk drivers constitutes the help of legal counsel.
When you have expert lawyers handling these kinds of cases, they will ensure that you are compensated a larger amount than if you were to do it on your own. And the last thing you want if you've been seriously injured is to settle for an amount that's way below what you require and deserve.