What should I do if I’m in a car accident?

January 2, 2019 | News & Blog

  1. Move your vehicle to a safe location.
  2. Call 911.
  3. Gather information.
  4. Notify your insurance company, if necessary.
  5. Consider contacting a personal injury attorney.

1. Move your vehicle to a safe location.

If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location. The shoulder of the road or a nearby parking lot will often work. If you are not able to move your vehicle, turn your hazard lights on in order to protect yourself and other motorists.  Unfortunately, there are many instances of distracted motorists striking disabled vehicles, causing further injuries.

2. Call 911.

It’s important to call 911 if there are any personal injuries or property damage to the vehicles.  Assist other injured persons if you can, but be careful in attempting to move anyone who is injured. If possible, make sure you and others are out of the way of any oncoming traffic.

3. Gather information.

Get the other driver’s name, address, car make and model, and insurance information. It’s helpful to take a picture of the other driver’s license and insurance card. Take photos of the scene of the accident and the vehicles the way they were after the accident and before you move them. However, only do this if it is safe in the situation. It’s also important to get the name, address, and phone number of any witnesses in case you need them to testify at a later date.

Below is a list you can use:

Take photos of:

  • All vehicles involved, including license plates.
  • The scene of the accident.
  • The other driver’s insurance card.
  • The other driver’s license.

Write down the following information:

  • Name, address, and phone number of any witnesses.
  • Name and badge number of any responding police officers.

4. Notify your insurance company, if necessary.

If the accident was your fault, it’s important to let your insurance company know. They will usually handle the claim with the other driver or their insurance company. If the other driver was at fault, you should contact their insurance company to notify them of the accident.

An insurance company will often ask you to give a recorded statement about the accident. You should speak to a personal injury attorney before you give a recorded statement to an insurance company, even if it’s your own insurance company. Even if you choose to only give a recorded statement to your own insurance company, the other insurance company will be able to obtain your statement. Insurance companies are clever and will use any information they can in order to justify paying you less than your claim is worth.

5. Consider contacting a personal injury attorney.

A personal injury attorney provides value in two main ways: 1. They can help you get the medical treatment you need (often with no upfront costs); and 2. They can make sure you get a fair settlement from the insurance company.

In 2004, the Insurance Research Council compared the value of settlements people received for the same injury when they had an attorney and when they didn’t. The study found that people with an attorney received almost three-and-a-half times more money, even after attorney’s fees were paid.

Insurance companies have lawyers on staff who are experienced in settling claims for as low as possible. Additionally, insurance adjusters deal with hundreds of claims every year and have a lot of practice negotiating settlements. Compare this to the typical injury victim, who has no experience dealing with insurance and has little idea about the value of their case. A lawyer is an advocate that can help you navigate the legal system.

If you have been injured in an accident, contact us today for your no-fee consultation. We would love to help you!

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