If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle accident, it can be difficult to have the presence of mind to gather all necessary information in the midst of a traumatic experience. However, documenting the specifics can help bolster your claim in seeking compensation so that you can receive the care you need and recover any losses. Knowing what is needed in case of an accident can better ensure you remember to document what is important before leaving the site.
Learn these five tips now so you are prepared in case of a motor vehicle accident. Though nothing can truly prepare you for such a disaster, having the necessary information can help mitigate the stress and aid in recovery. Below are the primary steps to take before leaving the site of an accident.
- Call the Police
Once you have made sure that you and anyone else involved is safe, call the police. Personal safety is paramount. This entails turning hazard lights on. If it is safe to move either a person or vehicle out of traffic, do so. If not, then try to align something between you and oncoming traffic. If your vehicle is a hazard, such as leaking gas or fire, move to safety. It’s important to get you and other passengers into a safer spot to prevent further injury, without leaving the site altogether. Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident can lead to severe legal trouble.
If safety has been addressed, it’s time to call the police. Not only is it critical to call the police if medical treatment is required, but they will also create an accident report. An accident report will help the insurance company and attorneys determine fault. If the other vehicle was at fault, this will support your claim in seeking fair compensation. Additionally, the police will make sure to gather information about all parties involved. An official record substantiates any claims made and protects against false testimony.
- Obtain Contact Information
Though the police will gather the information of involved parties, it’s important for you to gather it as well. This will be necessary information for both the insurance company and an attorney if you seek compensation. Accident reports may not be available for weeks, and you will need this information for your personal records. This will allow you to move forward with a claim without unnecessary delay.
The information you will need includes:
- Name of all parties involved
- Driver’s license numbers of everyone involved
- License plate numbers of all vehicles involved
- Insurance company names and policy numbers for all vehicles involved
- Phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses for all parties involved
- Name and contact information for any witnesses
- Take Photos and Record Details
In the moment, the details of an accident may seem vivid. However, over time, events get blurry, and it becomes harder to recall the specifics. Before you leave the site of a motor vehicle accident, make note of as many details as possible, as well as write down all you can recall of events: when and how they happened.
Some details to record are the date and time of the accident, where the accident occurred (exact address if there is one), which streets were in the vicinity, as well as how the accident happened. Which direction were you and the other driver coming from? Were any lights run or lines crossed? Write down as much as you remember, as well as the conditions and order of events.
Make sure to also take photos of the scene and any damage sustained. Take photos of injuries, property damage, locations of the vehicles, as well as the surroundings of the accident. The more information gathered at the onset, the easier it will be to build a claim and determine fault.
- Address Any Injuries
If you have suffered any injuries, seeking medical treatment is a priority. You or your passengers may need to go to the hospital. Some injuries are not readily identified, and internal injuries and trauma may be missed if medical treatment is not promptly sought. Whether you need an ambulance or can get taken to an emergency room on your own, don’t delay treatment. This is critical for recovery but also for seeking compensation to cover medical and/or pain and suffering expenses.
Make sure to assess your pain and document injuries with written accounts and photographs. Make a plan to visit the emergency room, urgent care, or your primary doctor to determine if you have sustained any injuries. Adrenaline may initially prevent you from feeling any immediate pain, so take precautionary measures by seeking medical care after a motor vehicle accident.
- Notify Insurance Companies
After an accident, inform your insurance company that you have been in a crash. Though you are not responsible for notifying the insurance company of the at-fault driver, you may want to if you do not hear from them within a few days. Don’t rely on the other driver to take all the necessary steps. Inform them one of their drivers was in an accident with you.
Take care to only provide basic information and not a detailed statement. An attorney can best represent your interests to the insurance company. If you have been in an accident, legal representation may be preferable when dealing with insurance companies that may attempt to minimize how much you receive.
If you have been in an accident, the expert team at Warren Allen LLP can provide sound legal advice and exceptional services. Contact our legal firm today and learn what your options are for legal representation and compensation. We will work toward finding you fair compensation and the best resolution possible.
If you have suffered injuries related to a crash, an attorney can help evaluate your case and represent your interests so you can focus on recovery. Equipped with the information listed above, you can be well on your way to receiving compensation for lost wages, medical treatment, property damage, and pain and suffering. Accidents can be traumatizing, but these steps can help give you peace of mind as you work toward recovery.