Being involved in a car accident can be a very scary thing. Often, the parties are shaken up, scared, and emotions can run high. When overwhelmed by the fear, shock, and physical injuries often associated with an automobile collision, it can be very confusing to know which steps to take in order to get through the process in the best possible way.
In the event that you are involved in a collision, it will help you to know the steps to take. By following these simple steps, you will help ensure your safety and your ability to collect compensation for the damages that you suffer as the result of the collision.
- If you are not too injured to move without pain, make sure that you are in the safest place possible. This means getting out of the way of traffic and any oncoming vehicles that are often tempted to gawk at the sight of an accident, resulting in further collision.
- If there are injuries, call the police. Even if the at-fault driver says that he will pay for the damages, it is important to call the police. More often than not you will need to have a police report in order to support the facts of what happened in the collision. Many places, especially busy cities, will not dispatch the police to the scene of an accident where there have not been injuries and will instead suggest that you simply exchange information with the other parties involved. However, the authorities will always respond to the scene of a collision where there are injuries, regardless of their severity.
- Take photos of damage to both cars. This is very simple to do nowadays considering that virtually everyone has a camera on their phone. Take a picture of the other vehicle’s license plate.
- Take photos of the other party’s insurance card and driver’s license. This is easier than writing the information down, and will come in handy when you meet with an attorney who will need to know the identity of the at-fault party.
- If possible, get a recorded admission of fault. If the other party says that he is “sorry”, or some variation of that, ask them if they are willing to admit fault in a phone recording. Most phones, especially “smartphones” (iPhones, Androids, etc.) have a voice recording application on them. Make sure to record their permission to record their statement.
- If the other party refuses to give you their insurance information, ask the responding officer on the scene to provide you with the insurance and policy information while at the scene. In many busy cities, places such as Los Angeles County, it can take 2-3 months to receive a police report. So it will definitely speed up the process if you are able to provide your attorney with the at-fault driver’s identity and insurance information before the police report is available.
- Call an experienced auto accident attorney. In the event that you are injured in an automobile collision, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side. Your attorney will know how to go about getting you proper medical treatment for your injuries, making a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance, and will be there to negotiate on your behalf in order to get you the compensation you deserve. For over 30 years The Law Offices of Vann H. Slatter have helped those injured in auto accidents. Call today for a free consultation at (310) 444-3010 or toll-free at (888) 293-0404.