Nobody ever expects to be in a car accident, yet they happen every day. It is important to always be prepared with a game plan before an accident occurs to avoid any complications and to make sure you are in good standing if you are injured and need to seek reimbursement for your losses.
After a car crash occurs it is imperative that you record all specific details about your accident. Keep a pen and paper in your car at all times so you can write down the accident specifics, such as the location where the accident took place, the license plate number(s) of any other involved vehicle(s), the time and date, and a general description of what happened. Remember, you can never take too many notes, and they will
be valuable if you find yourself in court seeking damages. It is typically a good idea to keep a disposable camera in your car to snap pictures of the accident as well; a cell phone camera will also work for this purpose. Many insurance companies and law firms have free apps that will help you to record and organize all necessary information.
Always call a police officer and report the accident immediately. Make sure to give him a full account of the accident for his police report. Record his name in your accident notes. Always make sure to stay on the scene until the officer says it’s ok to leave.
If you can, record the other driver’s name, address, license numb
er, and insurance information. Do this as quickly as possible as sometimes drivers who are at fault or under insured will flee the scene. Typically a police officer on scene will help facilitate this for you. If the other driver is unwilling to offer up this information, never start a fight; just remain on the scene, try to stay calm and wait for the police.
Do not discuss the accident with any other drivers, bystanders, or witnesses. Sometimes in the confusion of the moment you may say something that may be taken out of context and used against you in court later. Try to remain as tight-lipped as possible while avoiding arguments.
It is in your best interest to call an experienced personal injury attorney first, before you call your insurance company. The attorney will notify your insurance company and report the accident. Your personal injury attorney will find out all about time limits for filing a claim, etc. An experienced injury attorney will review the fine print in your insurance policy to understand what your policy entails.
Always call a personal injury lawyer if you are injured in any way or have suffered extensive damages. It is a known fact that an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to collect a much better settlement for your accident claim, than if you tried to settle it yourself with your insurance company.
Even if you don’t suffer any immediate medical problems, you may still be injured and not know it. A personal injury lawyer will advise you if you should seek damages and will guide you through the legal process. Remember, consultations with injury lawyers are always free and without obligation, so if you are unsure if you have a case it never hurts to speak to a lawyer.
This is a guest blog post from our attorney friends at Daggett Shuler in Winston Salem, NC.