10 Step Car Accident Checklist
Critical Steps to Include in Your Car Accident Checklist
Serious car accidents are incredibly frightening and can have life-changing effects on those involved. In most cases, legal issues are not top of mind for those having been involved in a motor vehicle accident. Nevertheless, your actions starting right after the accident can have a significant impact on your legal rights as well as your ability to pursue compensation for damages. That’s why it is crucial to follow a car accident checklist if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident.
To help individuals involved in car accidents, we’ve created a list of 10 critical steps you should follow if you are the victim of a severe car accident. Continue reading to learn more about the importance of a car accident checklist.
Call the Police
By calling the police, an investigation and police report will be put into place and establish who was at fault for the accident. When reaching determinations of fault, insurance companies rely heavily on police reports to make accurate decisions. When there is not a police report on record, determining fault can become increasingly difficult, limiting your legal options.
Preserve All Available Evidence
Unless your car is creating a dangerous situation for other drivers or police instruct you to do so, you should not move your car. If you have the ability, we suggest taking photographs of the accident scene as well as the vehicles involved. After sufficient documentation of the accident, you should photograph all visible signs of injury.
If possible, try to gather names and telephone numbers of witnesses to the accident. In most cases, witnesses will leave the scene before the police arrive. Encouraging a witness to stay and provide a statement to police can improve your legal options further down the road.
Gather the Other Drivers Information
Vital information to record from the other driver includes:
- Phone Number (make sure it works)
- License Plate Number
- Car Registration Number
- Auto Insurance Company Name
- Insurance Policy Number
Seek Medical Attention
If you feel any pain after a car accident, we absolutely recommend getting checked out at an ER or by a trusted family physician as soon as possible.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Car insurance policies require you to report an accident you are involved in. It’s critical to get in touch with them as soon as possible, so they have the report on file. Even if it is after regular business hours, you should be able to find a 24-hour number on your insurance card that will get you in touch with a representative.
Limit Your Communication
The only ones you should speak with regarding how the accident occurred are the police and your insurance company. As you might be aware, the statements you make can be used against you. For this reason, it is critical to avoid talking about the accident while you are medicated or in severe pain. Most importantly, you should never speak with the other driver’s insurance adjuster or give a recorded statement without your injury attorney being present. Opposing parties will try to twist your words to improve their claim.
Seek the Counsel of Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys
Laws regarding car accident cases are incredibly complicated and consistently changing. That’s why it is critical to receive representation from an experienced attorney who understands the industry and will fight for your rights to compensation. Choosing an attorney with experience in these types of cases will help negotiate a settlement or take your case to trial if necessary. You can find tips for choosing a personal injury attorney here.
Request a Free Case Evaluation from an Injury Attorney
Depending on the nature of your car accident and the extent of your injuries, it may not be necessary to seek legal counsel. Regardless, consulting with an attorney can provide several critical benefits that may be necessary to your case, including investigation of the scene. An experienced attorney will help with scene reconstructions, witness interviews, and other critical factors that play a role in settlements. Your attorney will also play a crucial role in handling communication with your insurance company as well as the other driver.
Don’t Sign Anything
You should never sign anything without first receiving advice from a personal injury attorney. Private investigators may ask for you to sign a statement and insurance adjusters may offer a cash settlement if you sign a release of your claims. It is especially important to notify your attorney of these instances and review any documents you’re asked to sign with them.
Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident, we strongly urge you to contact our office today for a free case evaluation. Our team has extensive experience fighting on our clients’ behalf to achieve rightful compensation after an injury. Contact us today to learn more about your case through a free case evaluation and what you might be entitled to.