If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a car crash it’s hard to think logically. You may be in shock or injured, but no matter what has happened you need to try ensure to take the right steps in order to protect yourself. Try and bear in mind the following steps:
This obviously goes out of the window if you need medical attention, but if not you should stay at the scene for as long as required. The last thing you want is to be in trouble for leaving too soon, or not getting all the information you need to pursue an insurance claim.
You need to gauge the seriousness of the injuries in all passengers, drivers, and yourself. Any hit to the head can be dangerous, so even if someone claims they feel ok call an ambulance if necessary. If someone has neck pain or is stuck in the vehicle wait for the emergency services as you don’t want to do further harm. Try to remain calm and encourage others to do the same.
If you haven’t spoken with the emergency services yet as no one is injured, call the police so they can help assist with securing the area. They will also file a report which will be needed for insurance purposes. You should get the name and badge number of the responding officers and ensure they have all the relevant and correct information.
The police will most likely do both of the above, but it always pays to be prepared. Take pictures on your phone of the vehicles, the scene, and any injuries, as well as getting the contact details of any witnesses.
You need to get the names, contact details, license plates and numbers, and insurance information from any other drivers involved in the accident. Additionally if there are passengers ensure to get their details too. Speak politely, but don’t make any admissions of guilt or guessing as to what has happened – this goes for when you speak to witnesses and the police too. You may find yourself liable if you accidentally admit to something.
You need to inform your insurance company as soon as possible and provide them with all the information they need. This includes pictures, the police reports, and medical treatments. Be truthful and present the facts, but also be wary of early settlement offers – especially if you ongoing medical treatment.
It’s very important to speak with an experienced attorney in these types of claims – especially if they’re not completely straightforward. If you need advice on how to proceed, speak to the team at Franco Law Firm.