Posted by Chip Gentry |
Nobody prepares to be in a car accident. Collisions are random, unpredictable, and can happen at any moment. If (when) you are in a motor vehicle crash, naturally, your first instinct is to worry about the health, safety, and well-being of yourself and the individuals in your car or truck. After the crash, whether you are still recovering from surgery, undergoing medical tests, or going through physical therapy, hire a Jefferson City Car Accident Attorney to worry about the legal aspects of the accident. During our sixty-five plus years of cumulative legal experience, we have consistently witnessed clients ask the same question over and over: What do I do after I get in a car accident?
Here are the things to do after a Car Accident to ensure you document the collision properly:
- Safety First: If you are physically able, pull your vehicle to the side of the road and put your flashers on. Preventing additional collisions or a chain reaction could very well save yourself, your loved ones, and other motorists from further injury.
- Call the Police: Make sure the police file a police report. The report will be a key piece of evidence during negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, your own uninsured or underinsured insurance carrier, and during formal legal proceedings.
- Make an Accurate Record: Tell the police officers exactly what happened, to the best of your ability. If you do not know how the accident occurred or if you are unclear on one or more specific aspects of the collision, notify the responding officer of your uncertainty. Do not guess or speculate. Inform the officers of any injuries you think you may have suffered, and if necessary, ask them to call an ambulance.
- Take Pictures: These days, most people have a cell phone capable of taking pictures. While it is important not to interfere with the police officer’s investigation, take pictures of your vehicle, the at-fault driver’s vehicle, street signs, stop lights, road conditions, weather conditions, or anything else that may have contributed to the cause of the collision. If you are unable to take pictures yourself because of your injuries, kindly ask a police officer to take pictures.
- Exchange Information: Get the name, address, and telephone number of all individuals involved in the accident, including passengers. Also, obtain the contact information of neutral third-party witnesses. Provide the at-fault driver with your insurance information, and get their insurance information in return.
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Even seemingly minor accidents can result in severe injury. Oftentimes, injuries that appear insignificant moments after the crash worsens in the coming hours, days, and weeks. Do not assume your sore back, aching neck, or bruises on your body are not worthy of medical attention. At a minimum, follow up with your primary care physician, inform them of the circumstances surrounding the collision, and explain in detail the symptoms you are experiencing.
- Report the Accident: Most insurance policies require timely notice of the collision or crash, even if you were not the at-fault driver. Notify your insurance company of the basic circumstances, and inform your carrier of the other driver’s insurance company, the date of the collision, and the approximate location of the crash. Request a copy of your full auto insurance policy, amendments, and endorsements, or at a minimum, a copy of your Declarations Page. You have a right to that information and your insurance company must give it to you.
- Keep A File: Motor vehicle accidents, crashes, and collisions are quickly followed by voluminous letters from insurance companies, medical providers, and other correspondence with technical requirements, legalize, and hard deadlines. Keep a folder with all documents related to the crash for your attorney to review.
Following these general guidelines and protocols after a collision will ensure that your attorney can handle your case efficiently, accurately, and timely. Let one of our Jefferson City Accident Attorneys help you with your case so you can spend time rehabbing, recovering, and getting back on your feet. There is no cost to you, we front all expenses of the case, and we do not get paid unless you get paid. At Call & Gentry Law Group, we are committed to providing you and your loved ones with excellent service, superior knowledge of the industry, and the protection and guidance you need to successfully navigate the settlement process and litigation roadmap.