According to ASIRT, more six million drivers will be in car accidents this year in the United States. Even though most of these only involve property damage, there are certain things that you should know and do no matter what the severity of your accident. Here is a handy checklist of the things our legal team at Fetterman & Associates believe are most important.
- STOP. You should never leave the scene of an accident no matter how minor you believe it to be.
- CLEAR THE AREA IF POSSIBLE If you can clear the road for safety reasons without destroying important evidence, move to the side of the road.
- PRESERVE THE ACCIDENT SCENE. If your vehicles can not or should not me moved, make a safety zone by using your flashers, or setting up flares or barricades.
- ALWAYS CALL THE POLICE. Even when there a no injuries from an accident, a police report may be helpful or necessary in filing your insurance claim. Make sure that you make an accurate report with the investigating officer. Only tell the officer facts that you know to be true. If you do not know a fact, tell the officer that too. Often damages and injuries appear long after an accident happens, and an accurate record can be very important to your case.
- DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. Using your mobile phone or a camera, take pictures of all vehicles involved. Get pictures of road conditions, and any inanimate objects involved like a pole, tree, etc. You should also photograph any visible injuries as well.
- EXCHANGE INFORMATION Even though the police will gather information for their report, you should exchange information with other persons involved. This might be other drivers, riders, or witnesses to the accident. You will want to keep all this information along with anything the police give you, estimates, any expenses you might incur, and medical reports. Store them in an organized file for future reference.
- CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY. You should file your report as soon as possible. Most companies require you to file ASAP. It is important that you file promptly in case you do need medical attention or vehicle repairs.
- GET A MEDICAL OPINION No matter how minor you believe the accident to be, go to the emergency room and get checked out. Often injuries won’t show up until days later. A medical professional may notice something that is out of place before it is a problem.
- KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. One of the best things you can do after an accident is to consult a West Palm Beach car accident attorney. An attorney can help with your report to insurance, make sure important evidence is not overlooked, and advise you. A law firm like Liefer Law can work on your behalf to make sure that you receive just compensation for all your loses.
We hope that you are never in an accident, but if you are, we want you to be prepared. Here are some things that will help you to be ready for the worst.
- Always have important documents easily accessible. These include your ID, insurance contact information, vehicle registration papers, any health problems or allergies, your emergency contact information, and numbers for preferred Dr, health care provider, or hospital.
- Always make sure your phone is fully charged and easily accessible whenever you leave in your vehicle.
- Make sure your vehicle is free of clutter, and you place all loose items in a center console, glove box, or on the floor. They won’t create a danger by knocking around the vehicle
Making sure that you are alert, and well rested before you get behind the wheel is another good tip. Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and keep your vehicle properly maintained to keep it safe.
Read: What Happens If You Are Injured In An Out Of Town Car Accident?