What To Do After A Car Accident: A 5-Step Guide
Getting into a car accident is a frightening experience. But it will be easier to get through by following the proper steps before calling an attorney. These are the steps you must take to increase your chances of getting the highest settlement possible.
1. Call 911
The first thing to do after checking on the condition of everyone in your vehicle and the other vehicle(s) involved, if you can, is dial 911 and ask for police and an ambulance to respond. If you cannot move or are afraid to move, tell the operator that you are unsure of the condition of the other people in the other vehicle. If the injury was not life-threatening, but staying in the street is dangerous and blocks traffic, then you will need to move your vehicle to the shoulder or out of the way of traffic.
2. Exchange Information
You will need to get the other driver's name, address, email address, phone number, and both their auto insurance company and policy number. You will also want to get the same information for passengers and witnesses, as well as any pedestrians or cyclists who were also injured.
3. Take Pictures
This is one of the most important things you can do if you are lucky enough to have an undamaged phone or camera after the accident, and are physically capable of taking pictures. In dangerous areas where there is a lot of traffic, you will want to be careful. Take as many as possible. If the accident occurred in an area where you can safely get pictures from a variety of angles, including across the street, and other conditions on the roads or with signs that contributed to your accident, then be sure to get those and include the license plate in as many as possible.
4. Get A Police Report
You will want to be sure to get a copy of the police report from the officer that arrives at the accident. It is an incident report that gives the time, date, and location of the accident, and accounts from both drivers and witnesses. The insurance company is going to request the report, and will not be able to proceed unless you provide that document to them. If you need to request one then you can from the police department's records department. It is essential to be sure that the document wasn't altered by the other driver after you left. Ensuring that you have a copy before you leave is essential.
5. Accept Medical Care
If an ambulance is called and you are offered to get checked by medical professionals, then take the opportunity. If you're wondering how you will pay for it, then you will want to speak to an attorney, such as car accident lawyer Kenneth King. Their job is to get the insurance company of the party that was responsible for the accident to compensate you for any medical treatment you may need from injuries sustained during the accident. But if you wait, not only do you risk having an emergency later when dangerous symptoms arise, and the insurance company not paying out. The reason, they will argue, is that if you were really hurt then you would not have delayed to get help. So you want to avoid both of those situations, and get to a doctor right away.