Here are five steps to take in those crucial moments immediately following an automobile collision...
While it can be tempting to not involve the police, particularly if the incident appears relatively minor, not calling the police can make resolving the issue more complicated in the long run. Calling the police will ensure that medical help will be on the way quickly. Additionally, the police will document the incident in an objective manner.
2. Exchange Information.
Make certain to exchange information with any involved parties. Important information to exchange includes names, addresses, and telephone numbers. Take time and make sure to copy the information accurately. If any witnesses to the collision are present, ask for their names and phone numbers as well.
3. Accurately report the event and your injuries.
When describing the collision to police and medical personnel, try to recount as many details as possible. Describe what you saw, heard, and felt in the moments leading up to the collision, during the collision itself, and immediately after the collision. Speak to the medical personnel on the scene and accurately report your injuries. Be as descriptive and accurate as possible when describing any pain or discomfort. Do not hesitate to go to the emergency room or seek medical care if you have been injured. Your health and safety should be your top priority.
4. Take Photographs.
It is often said, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” The adage is certainly true when it comes to photographs taken at the scene of a collision. Photographs taken at the scene provide objective evidence of the condition of the vehicles immediately following the collision and provide investigators with critical information about the cause of the collision and the extent of the damage to the vehicles. If you are incapacitated following the collision, then make sure you know where your vehicle is taken. Knowing the location of your vehicle will allow your attorney to easily access and photograph the vehicle as soon as possible to preserve valuable evidence.
5. Call an attorney.
Immediately seeking the advice and support of an experienced attorney is one of the most important steps you can take following a collision. An attorney will work to ensure all evidence is properly documented, and will help you navigate the complicated insurance and legal process following an accident. It is imperative you speak to an attorney before speaking to an insurance adjuster so you are aware of your legal rights and do not settle your claim for less than you are entitled to receive. Be especially wary of early settlement offers from insurance companies, and do not sign any settlement documents or releases without consulting your attorney.
Your actions following a collision are crucial. The aftermath of an automobile collision can be stressful and complicated, but taking the appropriate steps immediately following an automobile collision can ensure the recovery process will be as quick and hassle-free as possible.