The way you handle yourself after an automobile accident can significantly impact the legal and fiscal consequences that follow. Give yourself an advantage by following these post-accident best practices:
CHECK FOR INJURIES
Before getting into the weeds of post-accident Dos and Don’ts, you should always begin by making sure that no one is injured. If someone is hurt or thinks they may be hurt, call for medical help immediately.
Never offer apologies at the scene of an accident. Period. Apologizing can easily be misconstrued as an admission of guilt. Similarly, it is unwise to speak directly with the other party’s insurance company. Leave all the talking to the party most qualified to handle the situation: your insurance company.
Exchange insurance and contact information with ALL parties involved. If the other driver refuses to provide his information or says he’s uninsured, write down his license plate number and proceed to the next step…
CALL THE POLICE
No matter how insistent the other driver is that no police intervention is necessary, it really is the only way to ensure all parties are treated fairly. Insurance companies are also more likely to consider testimony provided by an objective third party, like the police.
CALL YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
After the police and any necessary medical support are notified, the next step is to call your insurance company. This will expedite the situation and give you immediate access to a trained professional for next-steps directives.
DOCUMENT THE EVIDENCE
Photograph your vehicle, the other vehicle, and anything else affected by the accident. It is also helpful to take notes on what happened, what damages occurred, and what injuries were sustained while the details are still fresh in your mind.
FIND A WITNESS
If anyone was around the scene of the accident when it occurred their testimony could be very helpful for insurance and legal purposes. Make sure to get witness contact information and, if possible, recorded or written testimony of what they saw.
RELAX & CALL BRANTON LAW FIRM
No matter what happens, we’re here to help. Before pursuing his legal career, Charles Branton worked in the insurance sector for many years. He has the unique advantage of knowing how insurance companies operate behind closed doors. If you run into any disputes with the other driver, their insurance company, or even your own insurance company, it is wise to secure legal representation sooner rather than later. Call (985) 807-1410 for a free consultation with Branton Law Firm.