It all happened so fast, but now you’re on the side of the road with
a banged up car, wondering what to do next. Whether this is your first
accident or not, it can be a challenge to remember what steps you’re
supposed to take while you’re still in shock. Even if you’ve
been in an accident before, it’s important to remember these steps
to protect your claim.
Step 1: Check If Everyone is Okay
Safety should be a top priority after an accident. Check to make sure that
everyone in the car is uninjured. If someone is seriously injured, don’t
hesitate to call for an ambulance. It is most important to make sure that
everyone is safe. Even if you aren’t seriously injured, it is still
recommended that you go straight to the emergency room or urgent care
when you are done at the scene, and encourage your passengers to do the
same. If necessary, move the cars to a safer spot.
Step 2: Gather Information
You will need to get a copy of the other driver’s information. If
there is more than one vehicle involved, write down the information of
each driver separately. This includes the driver’s:
- Phone Number
- License plate numbers
- Insurance information
- Make and model of the vehicle
You should also gather the names and contact information of any witnesses.
They may even allow you to record their statement with your phone. Additionally,
be sure to note the exact location of the accident and the name and badge
number of the responding officer.
Step 3: Contact the Police
No one likes to call the police, but it is important that you do so after
an accident. An officer should come to the scene and take a report, which
will be one of the main documents of your claim. They will include a description
of the scene, the information of both you and the other driver, who was
involved, the names of any witnesses, the damages, any injuries, and a
description of what occurred. If an officer is not available to take a
report, you can file one yourself at the police station. It is best to
have some documentation of your own to help you file your report. Photographs
are very helpful, which leads us to the next step.
Step 4: Photograph the Accident Scene
Photographs serve a number of purposes in an accident claim. They can be
helpful for you if you need to file a police report. They also can aid
you in retelling the story to your attorney, and provide visual evidence
of the accident itself for insurance agents. You can use your cell phone
to easily take pictures of the accident scene, traffic signs, damage to
the vehicles, and injuries at the scene, so it stays fresh in your mind.
When taking pictures, aim for close-ups, medium distance, and long distance
shots, and take pictures from a variety of angles. Try to keep a landmark
in the background of shots that are not close-ups. When photographing
the vehicles, try to keep identify markers, such as the license plate,
in the shot.
Step 5: Report the Accident to Your Insurer
Be sure to notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible.
Making a report immediately can make your claim far easier and prevent
your insurance company from denying your claim due to the delay.
Step 6: Speak with an Attorney
After you have documented the scene, filed a police report, gathered information,
and been examined by a physician, you may feel that you’ve done
a lot. You have, but you’re not quite done yet. It’s time
to get in touch with an experienced car accident lawyer. They will be
your advocate and guide through the entire claims process. Our attorney
has the knowledge to fight effectively for the compensation you deserve
and can help you maximize your claim.
Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law is committed to protecting the rights
of injured victims. Our Albuquerque
auto accident lawyer is backed by more than 10 years of trial-tested experience. Let
us fight for you.
Schedule a free consultation to learn what we can do to help you.
Contact our firm online, or dial (505) 219-2176.