How to Handle an Auto Accident
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How to Handle an Auto Accident
When you are involved in an auto accident, there are many things you should do to ensure that your rights are fully protected. It is essential to preserve as much evidence as possible following an accident in case you want to file a personal injury claim against the other driver or drivers involved. There are also essential steps that must be taken to strengthen your insurance claim.
The period following an auto accident can be a blur, but here are some important things to remember and consider:
- Drivers: Be sure to find out who were all the drivers involved in the accident. Make sure they have driver's licenses and write down their names, addresses, telephone numbers, and driver's license numbers. Also look to see if any of the drivers were intoxicated in any way. If you believe someone was, write down who and why you think so.
- Passengers: Find out if there were any passengers in any of the vehicles involved in the accident. If there are any, get their names and addresses.
- Pedestrians and Witnesses: Be sure to get the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any pedestrians involved in the accident as well as any pedestrians who were witnesses to the accident.
Information about the Accident Itself
There is a lot of information about the accident itself that you should record. Some of the things you should record (and document if possible with photos) include:
- Where the accident took place
- When the accident took place
- The weather conditions at the time of the accident
- The directions the cars involved in the accident were heading
- How the accident occurred
Other Information You Should Find Out
There is a lot of information you can and should gather if you are involved in an auto accident. While it may be hard to get all this information, it can be very helpful in dealing with your auto insurance claim and being prepared for a possible lawsuit. Other important information about the accident includes:
- Were there any injuries? Was medical assistance provided and if so what? Did anyone say they were not injured and if so who?
- Was there anything wrong with any of the cars before the accident (e.g., broken tail lights, flat tire, dents)?
- Were any of the vehicles damages and if so how?
- Who were all of the drivers involved in the accident insured? Get the names of their insurance companies and policy numbers.
- Were any of the vehicles involved in the accident towed?
- Did anyone say anything that indicated they were at fault, either partially or fully? Record who said what.
- Did the police come to the scene of the accident? Were any tickets issued? Get the names and badge numbers of the officers.
Get the Necessary Medical Services Required
If the car accident that you were involved in resulted in some type of injury, make sure to get the medical care that is required. Even if you do not think you have been hurt right after the injury, injuries could reoccur days after the accident after your body has had time to recover from the adrenaline and stress caused by the accident.
Contact Your Insurance Carrier
After any car accident, it is essential that you contact your car insurance carrier and give them notice about the accident. Insurance companies require drivers to give them notice of any car accident that they are involved in because it is the best way to start filing any car accident claim against a defendant.
The insurance company will:
- Write down all the specifics and details you provided and will send you a formal letter documenting the claim that you filed.
- Inspect your vehicle and the damages that occurred as a result of the accident.
- Give you an estimate for the cost of repairing the vehicle’s damage.
- Examine all the medical records that are relevant to your claim.
Should I Contact a Lawyer?
If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced auto accident lawyer can inform you of your rights and what remedies are available to you. A lawyer can also assist you in dealing with your auto insurance company or represent you if you are sued.
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Last Modified: 07-15-2015 12:45 PM PDT
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