Car accidents happen more than they should, and sometimes they lead to devasting results. It is why it is critical to follow specific steps to keep down confusion and lessen the financial burden that might come your way.
Most people know that you need to call law enforcement to make a report first. However, there is far more to it and sometimes means the difference between life and death.
Get Safe and Call 911
Pulling over is not always possible because wrecks happen in the middle of roadways, and the vehicles involved are not always drivable. However, if you can get out of the line of traffic, use your hazards and find a safe place to park your car.
Once you have gotten out of the way of further danger, call 911. Even if it is a minor collision and all you do is exchange insurance, it is still best practice to get a police report. It is because injuries and damages might arise later, and you want to have proof of what actually happened.
Get a Police Report
Regardless of who they find at fault, you can either pursue compensation or defend against the claim on your insurance. But first, you need that report taken before the next step.
The first bits of information they will ask for includes:
It is always ideal to have a report taken immediately after the car accident. However, depending on the state you live in, you can make a wreck report for up to 72 hours after the accident. However, when both cars leave a scene and the collision becomes a memory, recollections can get muddy and inaccurate.
Watch What You Say
No one is telling you that you can’t be friendly. However, it is best to stay inside your vehicle in many cases because you don’t want a misunderstanding in the future. It is the officer’s job to investigate and decipher who was at fault.
Whether you feel you think you are at fault or not, keep communication at small talk with the other party and never offer your opinion of what happened. Even in the case of someone asking you how you are feeling, the best answer is that your doctor will assess your injuries and overall condition.
We have one of the best tools in our pockets regarding situations like car accidents – our smartphones. You might want to take pictures of the scene and have information ready before law enforcement ever arrives.
Some of the information you can gather before police arrive includes:
You are the initial witness to the accident, and pictures can become proof that you were not at fault. If possible, get the names and info of any eyewitnesses, too.
Sometimes people don’t remember details for hours or even days. Keeping a journal or making a note of any pain, newly found damage, or any other information about the car accident will help you if you choose to seek compensation in the future.
Informing Your Insurance Company
Once there is a vehicle collision report, and you can leave the scene, contact your insurance company. Regardless of who is at fault, they need to know that a car accident happened.
Even though according to the law, people should have insurance, some people don’t, and that is information your insurance company needs. Also, it will be your insurance company that provides the most accurate information for the other party in terms of their coverage.
If the other party’s insurance company contacts you, provide the basic information but nothing else. They can use anything you might say against you and hinder any case you might pursue against them. Refer them to your lawyer if they ask for a statement.
Call an Attorney
You’ve got the police report, sought out medical attention, and let your insurance company know what happened. Make sure you’ve collected and kept all of the necessary bills and paperwork.
The last step is contacting an attorney that specializes in car accidents. Every medical bill, damage report, and other expense record goes to them so they can pursue compensation for you and your family.
A lawyer is not only there to ensure you get a fair deal; they are there to advocate fairness and justice. You don’t want the blame for an accident you did not cause.
If you are someone you love are suffering after a devasting car accident, contact an Asheville car accident lawyer so that you are not stuck with the bill for injuries that are not your fault. Consultations and advice are free to make sure you qualify.