Many people panic when they are in an automobile accident. They worry how it will affect their insurance rates and other matters. Sometimes, panic causes people who’ve just had a car accident to say things they will later regret and to fail to obtain information at the accident scene that would be helpful if a dispute arises regarding the accident.
Here are some steps to follow if you are in a car accident. They can reduce the hassles and increase your chances of receiving the maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
- Call the Police/Sheriff’s Department to have an Accident Report made. Stay at the scene until the police arrive.
- Call an ambulance for anyone seriously hurt.
- Write down the name, address, phone and driver’s license numbers, and insurance company of the other driver and the other car’s owner (if the other driver does not own the car).
- Write down the names, addresses and home and work phone numbers of all passengers in the other car.
- Write down the other car’s make, model, year, and license number.
- Write down the names, addresses, and home and work phone numbers of all witnesses.
- Make a diagram of the accident. Show the positions of both cars before, during and after the accident. If possible, measure skid marks, and show them on the diagram. Be sure your diagram shows traffic signals, stop signs, and crosswalks.
- Make notes on weather conditions, road conditions, the location of the accident, and the time that it occurred.
- Do not admit responsibility. Things you say can be used against you later and can affect the outcome of your claim. Call us before you take any blame for the accident. You may think that you caused the accident and then learn that the other driver was more at fault than you.
- If a dispute arises regarding the accident, or if you have any questions about your right to make a claim for your personal injuries or property damage, call us. Procedures for obtaining compensation can be complex. It is best to call us as soon after the accident as possible, as the time right after the accident can be vital to your claim.