Things To Do After An Accident:
By The Perazzo Law Firm
Statistically, we are likely to be in a serious car accident once every ten years. Although we all hope it never happens, we should always be prepared for the worst. Being prepared for an incident is the easy part. Make sure to have your vehicle equipped with a first aid kit, a portable camera, flashlights, flares or warning triangle and a portable battery. Additionally, you should gather together all of your car insurance documentation and contact information so you may report the incident as soon as it is safe to do so.
Remember, one of your obligations under the insurance policy is to timely report any losses so your claim can be properly processed. Delayed reporting is one the most common reasons insurance companies use to deny a claim or delay fulfilling their obligations. Having all of your insurance information and timely reporting of your claim help assist with payments for your treatment and lost wages while the claim or litigation against the negligent driver is ongoing.
After a motor vehicle accident the first priority is your safety. Contact emergency services as soon as you can and report the incident with as much detail as you can provide to allow emergency services to render appropriate assistance immediately. Make sure to report any injuries to your passengers as well.
Motor vehicle accidents that involve an injury, death or appear to result in damage over $500 need to be reported to the authorities. Law enforcement authorities responding to an accident scene have the right to request your name, address, registration number, proof of insurance and driver’s license. You are also within your rights to request the name and the badge number of the responding law enforcement officer. It is also important note the names of the responding EMTs.
If you can, move your vehicle into a position that does not obstruct other motorists. When safe to do so, take pictures and notes of the scene of the accident as well as the damage to the vehicle(s) including pictures that will help in identifying the location of the accident as well as weather and road conditions. Attempt to obtain basic information from all the parties involved including other drivers, passengers and witnesses not involved in the accident. Make sure to take note of the location of the accident and the surrounding. Oftentimes, there may be traffic cameras around the scene of the accident, which will be important to accident reconstruction. Also note any businesses and residences that may be equipped with surveillance equipment.
Oftentimes an injury resulting from a motor vehicle collision may not show any symptoms for several days and it is important to seek treatment right away. It is important to keep detailed notes on the accident itself and any symptoms as well as treatment. Consult a physician and give a complete description of all injuries as soon as possible after the accident. Take pictures of the injuries and keep detailed notes of the symptoms, which will help the treating physician as well as assist in litigation for the purposes of providing accurate testimony.
At the time of the accident, or soon thereafter, the negligent driver’s insurance adjuster may seek a statement from you. Remember, they are looking for a reason to deny coverage and you should seek advice of an attorney before giving any statement beyond providing the basic facts of the accident. If you seek further information on how to prepare for, or what to do after a motor vehicle collision please do not hesitate to contact the lawyers at The Perazzo Law Firm. Our lawyers have dedicated their careers to representing victims of car accidents and are ready to fight for you.