Accidents happen. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, there are approximately 5.25 million car accidents that happen annually. If you have suffered a car accident or want to be prepared just in case, there are things you should do immediately after the accident happens to ensure your safety, the safety of others and also to protect your assets. Even if your vehicle is only slightly damaged and you are not injured, you should take the proper steps to ensure you are protected. An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure.
Call the Police
Although you may be okay, your vehicle only slightly damaged and the other driver fine, there are still reasons to call the law. For insurance purposes, you may need a police report to be able to file a claim for the damage that was done. The police will be able to assess the situation more clearly and may also be able to answer any questions you have about further proceedings. Make sure to keep the scene exactly the way it was when the accident occurred.
Give All the Details
After you call the police, make sure you remain where you are unless you absolutely have to move. Take in the scene and try to remember what happened to the best of your knowledge. When the police or police officer arrives, they will discuss with each of you what happened during the accident and perhaps what caused it. Do not allow yourself to make guesses. You may feel a bit disoriented. If you do, tell that to the officer and allow him to make notes as needed. In order to effectively protect your assets, tell the truth to the best of your knowledge. If you are unsure if you are injured, tell the officer you are unsure. Although you cannot change what the other party states, you can remain truthful in your statement.
The Information Exchange
You may find yourself in a situation where the police do not respond to the accident. Sometimes, minor accidents do not require the police and your insurance company may not require a police report. Some public property, such as a grocery store parking lot, does not involve a police report. If this is the case, you and the other motorist should exchange information. This will include the motorist’s name, address, phone number and any other personal information that will be important for contact purposes. Make the exchange easier by taking pictures of the other driver’s insurance card, drivers license, and license plate, along with pictures of any vehicle damages and the accident scene. If an officer does respond to the scene, allow him or her to gather the information for both parties. When they are finished, you may be given a police report number which you will need for insurance purposes.
Call SM Law Group
Although you may not be able to immediately, you should contact SM Law Group as soon as you can. Our reputable personal injury attorneys will be able to guide you through the process and direct you where to go next. It is important that you let us deal with the insurance companies as any statements given to them may be used against you.
Remember to always seek medical attention if you feel you are injured. Consult your attorney to discover the best plan of action.