Motor vehicle accidents happen in a split second and leave people feeling in a state of shock. It is important to act fast and know what steps to take immediately after a crash. This will not only ensure the safety of everyone involved in the crash, but it can also make a big impact on your legal case. Follow these five critical steps below.
1. Make Sure Everyone is Safe
The very first thing you should do is check to make sure if anyone was hurt. If anyone suffered injuries and is in need of medical assistance, call 911 immediately. Next, it is important to make sure to pull your car over to the side of the road. If the accident happened in a busy area or during rush hour traffic, it is very likely additional accidents can occur. It is also in your best interest to turn on your hazards to alert the other drivers of the scene.
2. Contact the Police
Contact law enforcement and inform them of the scene. Police can create a report of the accident, which you can request a copy of for insurance purposes.
3. Assess the Scene and Exchange Information
Exchange contact and auto information with the other drivers involved in the accident. The following items should be collected or insurance claims:
- Name and contact information
- Insurance company and policy number
- Driver’s license and license plate number
- Type, color, and model of vehicle
- Location of accident
In addition, be sure to take pictures of the scene. You do not have to be a professional photographer, but there are some things you will want to keep in mind while snapping photos. Below are 5 tips for taking photos of the scene of the accident:
- Take photos on your own phone – This way, you know you have documentation and don’t need to worry about other people sending you over the photos.
- Take pictures from multiple angles – Capture all sides of the cars involved in the accident. Be sure your photos capture all corners of each car.
- Take pictures of your injuries – If you are able to, take photos of any injuries you may have sustained from the crash. This will come in handy later on if you plan on filing a personal injury claim
- Take pictures of car interior – If the interior of your car faced any damages, such as deployed airbags or shattered windshield, take photos of this as well.
- Take photos of the surrounding area – Take photos of the street where the accident occurred – including any traffic signals, street signs, etc. Also, if there were any contributing factors that lead to the accident such as potholes or road construction, be sure to take photos of this as well.
After you finish taking photos of the scene, you should also try to get pictures of the following three items:
- License Plates – Take photos of every license plate involved in the accident.
- Insurance Documents – Ask permission of the other driver to take a photo of their insurance card. If they agree, make sure to capture the company and the policy number.
- Police Report – If police come to the scene and write a crash report, snap a picture of this. This can help speed up the process with your insurance company.
4. Contact your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident. It is important you collect the information listed above. Insurance companies will specifically be looking for details of the accident such as whether or not a police report was filed, if there were witnesses, and any other information that is relevant to the accident.
5. File a Personal Injury Claim
The injuries you suffer from a car accident can result long pain and suffering. Losi & Gangi Attorneys treat every individual case with the specific attention all personal injury cases deserve, and with unique care tailored to its needs. Our attorneys are experienced professionals who are dedicated to the needs of our clients. If you suffered an injury, we can help you through this process from the start of your case until you receive your settlement. To learn more about Personal Injury and get started with a free consultation, click here.
If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, do not hesitate to get the workers compensation you are entitled to and deserve. Our experienced attorneys at Losi and Gangi will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case. Call us today at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation.
Article adapted from: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/what-to-do-after-accident/