After any car accident, several thoughts will run through your head.
“How will I pay for this?”
The shock from the accident may be overwhelming, but just remember to take a deep breath and follow these steps.
Maintaining your safety is of the utmost important. So first, make sure you, your passengers, and anyone else involved are all safe. Do not leave the scene for any reason, and stay out of the way of traffic.
Do not forget or let the other driver talk you out of calling the police. Even if the accident seems minor, you will want to have a police report for your records. In addition to your own notes, the police report will also include a description of the accident, the scene, who the police believe is at fault, and whether any citations were issued. Once police investigations are complete, ask for a reference number to the report, so you can obtain a copy later on.
Never Admit Fault
This is very important. Even simply saying, “I’m sorry” may imply that you were the one at fault. One suggestion is for you to record the aftermath with a video or voice recording application on your smart phone. If the other driver admits fault while you’re recording, you’ll be able to use this as evidence in a subsequent trial. Once both insurance companies are involved, they will handle the at-fault details.
While you’re waiting for the police, document as much of the accident as possible. If you are unsure if the information will be important, take it down it anyway. One example is that a vehicle may be totaled by the insurance company and unavailable for you to later inspect.
Exchange all of the necessary information–driver’s licenses or identification, insurance company information, policy number, phone numbers, email addresses, home addresses, and license plates. Gather this information for all passengers and witnesses.
Use your smart phone to take pictures and videos of the entire scene. Take photographs of any skid marks, damage to the road, guardrails or landscape, broken car parts, and your injuries.
See Your Doctor
Even if you don’t feel hurt, it is still important that you go see your doctor after the accident. Your doctor will evaluate your injuries and will be able to refer you to any specialists.
Consult an Attorney
This is the last, but most important step. Regardless of how minor your injuries or damages, you should contact a personal injury attorney. Since most initial consultations are free, there is no harm discussing your case with competent, legal professionals. Even minor crashes can be a huge source of stress in your life, but not if you have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side.
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