While some motorists travel as if on autopilot, commuting and running daily errands, many of us proceed with extreme caution every time we head onto the roads. With statistics showing that traffic accidents just continue to rise, everyone should be worried today whether they are traveling by car, on two wheels, or on foot. This means practicing more diligence and defensive driving than ever, along with knowing what to do if you are in an accident.
Most of us would rather think about a million other things than what to do or how to prepare for the aftermath of a car wreck; unfortunately, most drivers will be involved in at least one traffic accident in their lives. For some, a car crash means debilitating and life-changing injuries—for others it can still mean substantial property damage and trauma, even if it is just emotional. Depending on the severity of the accident, there may be grounds for a lawsuit or your injury attorney may be involved in settlement talks with the insurance company. What you do right after the accident could have a major bearing on your case though, so take time now to be prepared for such an occurrence later.
Making sure there is an accident report is the first course of action. This happens after you call the police. If you were in a wreck due to the negligence of others, they may not want to call the police, or it may seem like no one is hurt. In some cases, the at-fault party may just want to offer you their personal information or even just cash in exchange for everyone leave the scene without calling local law enforcement. Unless you have been in an extremely minimal fender bender, such behavior is almost always unacceptable. An accident report should be completed, and it is vital that you have a copy to pass on to your attorney, as well as the insurance company later.
If anyone is injured on the scene, an ambulance should be called immediately. If you have any question at all that you or a passenger (or if someone seems injured and unconscious or groggy in the other car) is hurt, it is still recommended that you act immediately. Keep in mind also that waiting to be treated may look questionable later if you are involved in a lawsuit regarding the accident. Contact information and insurance information should be traded as soon as possible after the accident, and if you have access to a camera, photograph both cars, license plates, and the entire traffic scene—to include road signs, traffic signs and lights, and any other pertinent information. Contact information should be requested from witnesses too.
If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm. If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!