Automobile accidents are shocking and traumatizing, and what to do first can sometimes seem confusing and overwhelming. In case the worst should occur, these steps will help create less stress regarding your personal injury case:
1) Call the Police
The first thing to do is file a police report. Calling the police to the scene of the accident and having them write a report is essential in helping you prove you were not at fault. Ensure all pain and injury complaints are recorded, as this is proof of injuries sustained. While police are occasionally hesitant to write such reports, this information is imperative for protecting your rights, especially if you were injured.
2) Take Witness Names and Phone Numbers
Be sure to take down the names and phone numbers of every person who witnessed the accident. Often times witnesses will approach you with their information, although it’s still necessary to look around and ask for names and numbers. This is especially important if a witness overhears the other driver admitting fault and liability. Such admissions are taken seriously by insurance companies when in court regarding the accident. This will also help your auto accident attorney convince the liable insurance company of your injuries and need for compensation.
3) Take Pictures If You Can
Another way to prove damages is to take pictures of the accident scene. If you are too injured to do so yourself, have a friend or family member document necessary images from the scene. You’ll want to take note of any damage to your vehicle, where the accident occurred, location of debris and anything else that will help your case. Liable insurance companies often dispute personal injury claims, especially if no solid evidence is presented.
4) Record Names, Addresses and Phone Numbers of Those Who Can Verify Your Injuries
Friends, family and co-workers can all verify that you are unable to work, perform basic household tasks and anything else resulting from the severity of your injuries. It’s also a way to provide an injury timeline. Such witnesses will help your case tremendously as it’s not just you claiming your injuries.
5) Take Down Insurance Info
Write down all insurance information at the scene of the accident, or have someone do it for you. The other driver is likely to be forthcoming with this info, particularly if police are present. Some people refuse to divulge this information after the event, making injury claim settlements problematic. Make sure you walk away from the accident with all the information you will need for your case.
6) Get an Estimate of Vehicle Damage
Auto insurance agencies frequently round down concerning how much it will cost to repair your vehicle, especially if you decide to keep the money rather than fix the car. A lower estimated amount also hurts injury claims, so get your own estimate of damage incurred.
Keep these steps in mind should you be the victim of an automobile accident. Contact us today with any questions concerning automobile accident claims. Were you injured in a car accident? What was your experience with the other driver and the insurance company? Share your story in the comments section!