Most of us have been, or will be in an auto accident at some point in our lives. Knowing how to react can make all the difference in positively resolving the situation and getting back on track.
What to do:
Have your insurance information and license with you in the vehicle at all times and make sure your insurance coverage is adequate.
Emergency personnel should come to the scene of the accident, not only to assist those injured, but to make a police report as well. You should also get the names of the officers for future reference should you need to contact them.
Move to Safety
Make sure you’re out of harm’s way. If your car isn’t damaged, pull over to the shoulder. If it is damaged, it’s all right to leave the car where it is, even if it’s blocking traffic, but turn on your emergency blinkers. The police will need to see the evidence at the scene of the accident. If you have flares, put them out to keep other drivers safe, but make sure you are not in danger in doing so.
Exchange the following with those involved in the accident: name, phone number and address; insurance information; license plate numbers; make/model/color of the other vehicle(s); location of accident; names and contact information for all witnesses.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Give your company all the information regarding the accident and they will tell you what to do next.
If uninjured, you should take pictures of the vehicles and the scene of the accident. These may be used as evidence later. Remember, only take photos if traffic conditions allow you to do so safely.
What not to do:
Don’t Leave the Scene
Don’t leave until emergency personnel have released you, or you could be charged with fleeing the scene. Even if the damages or injuries seem minor, call the police and stay at the scene. Wait for police to arrive.
Don’t Admit Fault
Emotions often run high after an accident. It can be a very frightening experience. Don’t let anger or feelings of guilt overwhelm you. Watch what you say carefully and don’t admit fault. If another driver was at fault, tell the police. Don’t argue the issue of who was at fault with the other driver. Stay calm and be polite. Let the police do their job.
Don’t Neglect to Call an Attorney if You Need Help!
File a claim with your insurance company and follow your claim closely as it progresses. This means, be in contact with your claims adjuster and check on the status of your claim. If you’ve been injured and encounter problems with an insurance company, or there are questions of fault, contact Abeyta Nelson Injury Law right away. There’s never any charge to discuss your questions with us and no fee unless we win your case. The sooner we’re involved, the more help we can give you.