Being in a car accident is scary. Emotions are high, people can become injured, and in a split second lives can be changed forever. It is crucial to focus and follow the below steps at the scene of the accident. These steps will give you and your family the best chance to ensure your future is protected.
Check on all drivers and Passengers
First thing before assessing damage of a car accident, make sure passengers and everyone that could be involved are okay. Call 911 immediately if for anyone who needs it. Anyone who may have back, brain, or spinal injury should be moved until appropriate medical personnel have arrived on the scene.
Stay at the Scene
Never leave the scene of an accident until everything is complete and it is okay to do so. Should you leave, you could get into serious trouble with the law. Especially if there is injury's or the accident ended fatal.
Call the Police
Even if there is minor damage, the police should be called. Ensure you ask that a police report be filed and get all name and badge numbers of all the responding officers.
Exchange Information and Talk with Witnesses
Get every piece of information from people involved and witnesses. This means names, addresses, drivers' license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information. Anything you think may help, get it. Speak with any witness about what they saw. If you have a smart phone, record conversations with police, people involved and witnesses.
Anything that looks like a picture should be taken, take it. Use your phone, camera; borrow someone's, anything you can do to get pictures of the incident. Get creative, anything that may help could end up helping you and your family.
Call Your Insurance Company
It is best to call your insurance company sooner rather than later when involved in a car accident. Cooperate and tell them the truth about the accident. Explain clearly and try to stay calm. Ensure you give the insurance company receives all documents needed (i.e. police reports, claim information, other persons insurance information).
Be Careful Who you Talk to
Use caution when talking about the accident. Don't just talk to anyone about what happened, there is always someone listening. Talk with your attorney, your insurance company, and the police, that's it. Don't talk with any other representative of another insurance company without your attorney present or knowing of the conversation.
Hire an Attorney
Do your research and find an attorney who specializes in accidents. Find an attorney you can trust and who has your best interest in mind. A good attorney will make sure that you don't settle early and end up not getting the fair settlement you deserve. Insurance companies are businesses, meaning they want to save as much money as possible. Not having a good accident attorney could mean you don't get the settlement you deserve and your family could end up paying dearly.