Getting into an accident is unfortunate enough, but the situation will worsen if the other party blames you for the accident. On top of that, your insurance company will give you a hard time during the insurance claim procedure if you don’t have the necessary documents and details. We understand that it may seem hard to keep a check on your emotions during this particular situation, but you must take action.
Here are some steps to follow at the time of your accident and afterward to ensure your safety.
- Stay At The Scene
Following an accident, the first precautionary measure is to stay at the scene unless it is necessary to move from the area. If you have not sustained serious injuries, call for paramedics to treat you at the location instead of going to the hospital. The reason is that if you leave the scene, particularly in case someone else sustained severe injuries or died, you can face penalties for being a hit-and-run driver.
- Call The Police And A Lawyer
If there is significant damage to the property, serious physical injury to yourself or someone else, or someone’s death in worst-case scenarios, call the police. Next, you must call a lawyer to protect yourself and your rights, as you don’t want the other party or police twisting the situation or your words in the reports.
If you are out of state, consult a local lawyer. For example, if you encountered a motorcycle accident in Colorado, search for a Colorado motorcycle accident lawyer instead of your family lawyer in any other state. They can come to the scene quickly and guide you through the legal procedure.
- Exchange Information
Your priority after calling the police and lawyer is to exchange all information with the other party. Get their names, phone numbers, address, vehicle’s license plate number, driver’s license number, etc. Exchange this information with every person involved, including the passengers. This will show your cooperation with the other party, and they will be more open to sharing information with you. However, your cooperation doesn’t mean that you should apologize for anything that is not your fault. Doing so can be seen as an admittance of guilt and legal liability for the accident.
- Talk To The Witnesses
People present at the scene at the time of the accident can act as witnesses to what happened. Their statements can play an important role in who is charged and with the blame. Therefore, get their names, numbers, and address.
- Inform Your Insurance Company
After following these steps, inform your insurance company about the accident. Tell them the complete situation, the extent of the damage, and the injuries you suffered. Explaining the facts clearly and in detail can help your case. In case you misinform them, and the insurance company finds out, they can deny your accident insurance coverage. In case you are unsure about the facts, review the police reports to state the objective facts.
- Take Pictures At The Scene
As soon as you recover from the shock of the accident, take pictures of the vehicle and surroundings immediately. Taking photos can help your case in front of the police and the insurance company when they send someone to determine your compensation for the damage. These photos can also help prove your case in court and act as evidence.
- Be Wary Of Early Settlement Offers
If the insurance company makes you an offer only a few hours or days after the accident, be wary of the offer. First, evaluate the damage to your property correctly and assess your injuries. Many injuries don’t show up after an accident for weeks and months. Therefore, don’t accept an offer unless you are sure that they compensate for all of your injuries. The smart move, in this case, would be to consult your lawyer before you sign any document or accept any offer.
Getting into an accident is a stressful situation. But taking all these steps can ensure that you can claim your rights and defend yourself properly if the case worsens. For this purpose, having a trustworthy attorney or lawyer by your side can help you increase your chances of recovering damage. Moreover, if the other party files a claim, exchanging information with the witnesses, the other party, and taking pictures can work as your evidence.