We always hope we won’t get in car accidents, but you never know what is going to happen. It is important to know ahead of time what to do if you are ever in a car accident. Here are some guidelines of what you can do at the scene of an accident:
1. Maintain safety at all times: Call 911 immediately if there were any injuries and also to tell the police there was an accident. If you can, move the vehicles to the side of the road so that you won’t cause another accident. If your car can’t be moved, turn on your emergency lights and if you have some, set out cones or warning triangles.
2. Trade information: After the accident, exchange your name, address, phone number, driver’s license number and license plate number, as well as the insurance’s name, address, phone number and policy number for the driver and the owner of each vehicle. Also make a written description of each car: year, make, model and color.
3. Document the accident: Use your cell phone camera, or any camera available, to take pictures of each car’s damage and where the accident happened, so that you can make your case to a claims adjuster or if there is a lawsuit. Also, speak with witnesses and write down their contact information in case a lawyer needs to speak with them.
4. File an accident report: If the police respond to the accident, they will give you an accident report. But if they don’t, you can still pick one up at a police station or download one from the Department of Motor Vehicles website. Filling out this form usually helps move along your insurance claim, which is very helpful since claims can take awhile.
5. Avoid discussing fault: Do not blame the other driver, even if you believe they were at fault. But, if the other driver admits it was their fault, then after they leave write down exactly what you remember them saying. Even if you feel you may have been partially at fault, do not admit that. “Fault” is often very complex and based on certain facts and complicated laws. Leave that for the police to decide or a personal injury lawyer.
6. Contact a car accident attorney: If you were in accident, you may be confused about what to tell insurance adjusters and what your rights are. We can help make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact the Law Office of W.T. Johnson immediately to get the justice you are entitled to before it’s too late.