Car accidents make for chaotic times and leave plenty of room for error in the rush of the moment. Unfortunately, those moments are quintessential to protecting your rights and covering all your bases so that you don’t have any issues down the road. Reviewing what to do in the event of an accident, and understanding how your actions can impact your case, is never a bad idea should you find yourself in one.
What to Do at the Scene of the Accident
First and foremost, if you’ve gotten in an accident, stop. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a hit-and-run and subject to criminal prosecution. Check on everyone’s condition who was involved in the crash and report it to the police, calling emergency services if someone needs immediate medical attention. Exchange names, contact information and insurance information with the other driver, but don’t discuss the accident. Anything you say could come up later in court if there is a dispute, and that’s not the time you want to realize you erroneously said something in your stunned state of mind. Instead, write down a personal account of the accident as you remember it and take pictures of the scene that can prove damages and losses. Lastly, call your insurance company to inform them of the accident relatively soon.
Who to Contact
Before you say anything to your insurance company or the insurance company of the other driver, contact an attorney. Explain the accident in as much detail as you recall so that they can help advise you in the most beneficial way. Most attorneys have free consultations for these exact situations, so don’t be afraid to meet with them because you’re worried about the price. That will arise later should you require more of their services.
What You Need to Keep Track Of
As your case progresses and the insurance agency sends a claims adjuster to investigate, you’ll want to keep records of any documentation relevant to the accident. This can be a copy of the police report, any medical documents or bills that you acquire because of the crash, like physical therapy bills, emergency room bills or prescriptions, and records of lost wages due to being unable to work. All of these can be used later as proof of the money you should be compensated for.
Accidents are tricky situations, especially when it isn’t clear who is at fault. Understanding your policy and discussing the case with a car accident lawyer in Memphis, TN is some ways you can make the claims process smoother and in your favor.
Thanks to Patterson Bray for their insight into personal injury claims and protecting your rights after an auto accident.