What To Do If You Are In A Motor Vehicle Accident
Knowing what to do after a motor vehicle accident can be confusing. Even a minor accident can leave people nervous and shaken. That's why it's a good idea to have a plan for what to after an accident. This includes keeping a list of emergency phone numbers (your insurance agent's number, etc.) in your glove box. We also recommend keeping a list of questions to ask after an accident (the other driver's name, phone number, insurance information, etc.) so you don't forget to do so. That way, you'll have all the important information you need after your crash. We also recommend taking the following steps immediately after your crash.
- Call the police, especially if anyone was injured. Tell the police immediately if you need medical assistance. Also tell the police if the other driver appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some insurance companies might not cover your accident unless there's a police accident report.
- Insurance companies often want the following information after a car accident: the other driver's full name, address and phone number. Also make sure you get the names, addresses and phone numbers of other passengers or pedestrians involved in the accident. Likewise, if someone saw your accident, get the witness' full name, address and phone number.
- If you have a camera or camera phone, take photographs of your accident. Make sure to take photos of any visible damage to your vehicle and the other vehicle. Also take photographs of skid marks on the road caused by crash and damage to street signs, guardrails, utility poles or any other non-vehicle property. If you are injured, and can't take these photos, ask a passenger in your vehicle or a friend to take these photos for you.
- Write down as much information as possible about your accident. Write down information about the other vehicles involved, including make, model and license plate number. Write down other information like:
- Was the other driver speeding?
- Was the other driver driving erratically before your accident?
- Did the other driver obey all the traffic signals?
- What was it raining or snowing?
- Were the street lights working?
- Was there any damage visible on the other vehicle before the accident?
- Make sure to get the auto insurance information from all drivers involved. If another driver does not have insurance, make sure you write down the other driver's full name, address and phone number.
- Did the other driver admit to causing your accident? If so, write that down and tell the investigating police officer.
- Before the police officer leaves the scene of your accident, make sure to get the officer's full name, badge number and best phone number to reach them.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer from our firm right away. An experienced attorney can investigate your accident scene and help build a strong legal case. Another great reason why it's so important to act quickly after a car accident and contact us is because your car-or the vehicle of the driver who caused your crash-has electronic equipment that contains information about the crash (speed, braking, etc.). It may be critically important to download the vehicle's "black box" or electronic data recorder ("EDR") before the vehicle is repaired or salvaged.
- Contact your own insurance company right away - but make sure you have an attorney on your side first. Don't wait too long. Most insurance companies require policy holders to contact them within a specified period of time. Failure to do so could result in your claim being rejected.
- If the other driver's insurance company contacts you, do not answer any questions or make any statements. Anything you say could jeopardize the outcome of your case. Instead, politely tell the insurance company representative that you have retained an attorney and instruct them to direct all their questions to our law firm.
- If you have been seriously injured, you will probably be taken directly to a hospital emergency room. If you feel fine, don't assume you're not injured. You could have a very serious, perhaps even life-threatening injury. Other injuries like whiplash also often do not show up right away. That's why it's important to seek medical advice as soon as possible. Otherwise, your health could be at risk and you might even have trouble later obtaining compensation from an insurance company. Insurance companies often require proof of an injury in order to compensate injury victims.
Don't wait to take action after your accident. Call Coplan & Crane Ltd., at 1-800-394-6002 or submit an online questionnaire and get the legal advice you need now. We offer a free case evaluation to all potential clients. If you decide to hire us, you only have to pay if we recover compensation for you. That's because we work on a contingency fee basis. We can even help you file a lawsuit if we believe that's the best way to help you get the money you deserve.
You only have a limited amount of time to take legal action. That's why we strongly urge you to contact us right now. Make sure you don't unintentionally waive your right to possible compensation.