CAR WRECK–NOW WHAT?
Summary: There are critical steps to take after an auto accident to protect your legal rights. Read about how you can take action and help yourself in a difficult situation after an automobile accident. Remember, Scutt Law PLLC is here to help with any questions!
CAR WRECK–NOW WHAT?
Check Yourself for Injuries!
Make sure you, your passengers and others involved in the wreck are ok! If there are injuries, call 911 or have another person call 911. If you are seriously injured, wait for emergency personnel.
Get to a Safe Location!
Get off of the roadway–get to the sidewalk or away from the shoulder and into the grass. Move your vehicle (if it is safe to move and not severely damaged). Turn on your hazard lights and use cones or flares if available.
Call the Police!
Even minor collisions should be memorialized by the authorities. Many states require reporting a crash under the law. The authorities will typically create a crash report or incident report that will document the incident and the parties involved. Generally, the report will provide information regarding the parties to the incident (drivers license number, license plate number, vehicle type, addresses and insurance information) as well as indicate factors for the collision, injuries sustained by the parties, and the name and badge number of the investigating officer. If the authorities cannot come to the scene, then go to the local police station and immediately make a report.
Get contact and insurance information from the other driver!!! This can be one of the most critical things after a wreck. Get the name of the other driver, a phone number, mobile phone number, alternative phone number, business number or business card, personal email, professional email, and any social media contact. Get the other driver’s insurance information. If possible, take a picture with your cell phone of their insurance card.
Memorialize the Wreck!
- Get the Investigating Officer(s) Information
- Get a copy or crash ID for the report
- Take Pictures! Take Pictures! Take Pictures! Take pictures of ALL vehicles involved in the wreck. Get a picture of the license plate first! Think of the vehicle as an octagon: get a picture from the front, front right driver, driver side, back right driver side, back center, back passenger, side, side passenger, front left passenger side. Get interior photos if possible. If alcohol or distracted driving was involved, these pictures can be invaluable!
- Get all party names and contact information
- Talk to witnesses and get all witness contact information
Talk to an Attorney!
Car wrecks may seem like a routine part of life–but, there are inherent legal issues of liability and insurance that immediately come into play. An experienced lawyer can be essential in protecting your rights and getting you compensation for your damages to person and property!
Don't Talk To Anybody But Us!
Avoid giving a recorded statement to any insurance company until you have talked to a Lawyer. Under your contract of insurance, you may be required to cooperate with your insurance company’s investigation of the incident–but, that does not mean that you have to do so without the assistance of an experienced injury attorney! Protect your rights!
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