While a car accident can be very traumatizing, one should keep their wits about themselves as best as possible. Even if you are lucky and the worst to have happened is property damage, there is still some degree of damage and damages mean liability. Therefore, if you’ve been in a car accident, there are certain steps that you must follow to ensure that your rights are protected and that everyone involved walks away in an amicable and legally sound manner.
SECURE THE SCENE AND CALL THE POLICE
After you’ve made sure you and everyone involved in the accident are alright, you need to look to secure the scene. If the cars are not blocking traffic, then use flares of traffic cones to secure the site and prevent further accidents or mishaps from occurring. Under no circumstances should you leave the scene of the accident as doing so could result in you being charged with a hit-and-run felony crime.
Proceed to call the police regardless of whether there has been any injury or not. The presence of the police will serve you in two different ways. Firstly, you’ll need a police report to submit to your insurance provider and calling the police at the time of the accident is the best time for the police to start analyzing the incident.
Secondly, with the police around, you have a credible witness to whatever discussion is held between you and the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident.
DON’T SPECULATE IN YOUR STATEMENT TO THE POLICE
The police will ask you for an official statement to attach to their report. While you should be forthcoming to the police and not omit any details, you also need to be absolutely honest and direct. If you’re unsure of something, then simply say you’re unsure.
It’s understandable to be a little hazy after an accident and the police do not expect you to have a perfect memory regarding the incident. Even if you’re not sure about being injured, just say that you’re not sure rather than saying you’re not injured.
Nowadays everyone has a camera phone. If you’ve been in an accident, photograph any damage and injury caused by the accident. These will be important for insurance. Make sure you don’t interrupt the police in their investigation.
CALL YOUR ATTORNEY
The last step you should take before contacting your insurance provider is to speak to a car accident attorney. Your attorney is your best resource when it comes to getting your insurance claim as they can guide you on a range of issues from presenting evidence to filing the application. They can also help you prepare for your insurance claim statement.
If you go to an experienced and organized attorney, then chances are the process will be even easier as such attorneys know who to contact and how to get things pushed through faster. If nothing else, you’ll have professional advice on a matter as important as accident insurance claims.