Dealing With A Motor Vehicle Accident
Nobody heads out onto the road expecting to be in an accident, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put some thought into it. Listed below are some practical things you should do immediately following an accident.
Make Sure Everyone In The Vehicle Is Alright
Whether you are the driver or a passenger, check to see if anyone has been injured. If someone is injured, don’t move them unless it is absolutely necessary; moving an injured person can often make their injuries worse.
Stay At The Scene And Call The Police
In a major accident, this is just common sense. In more minor collisions, however, people are often tempted to do a quick assessment, assume they are OK and head back on the road. Always pull over, put on your hazard lights and call the police. You could be in shock and unaware of how badly you or your passengers have been injured.
Consent To A Medical Exam
You may be unaware of injuries due to shock or the adrenaline rush following the accident. Getting checked immediately at the scene and later in an emergency room can prevent injuries from getting worse. If you are injured, a medical exam also provides proof that can be used for an insurance claim or in a court case.
Respectfully Approach Other Drivers Involved
If other vehicle(s) were involved, exchange information with the other driver(s). Stay calm and do not apologize. Apologizing at the scene can be used against you as an admission of fault even if you were not responsible for the accident.
Take Pictures At The Scene
If you have a phone or a camera with you, take pictures of the accident scene, your vehicle, any visible injuries you suffered and the vehicles and license plates of other drivers involved in the accident. Your photos can provide evidence in your defense and help reconstruct the accident later.
Talk To Any Witnesses You Find
If there are other drivers or people on the street who saw what happened, tell them that you have called the police and ask them what they saw. Try to get their names and numbers and ask if they can stay and talk to the police. If they get in a car and drive away, get their license plate number so the police can track them down later.
Call The Attorneys At Vaughn & Clements, P.C.
At Vaughn & Clements, P.C., we understand how insurance companies work with accident claims. While it may be tempting to accept a settlement check, keep in mind that the goal of the insurance company is to pay you as little as possible while still honoring your policy. In addition, cashing the settlement check means you are giving up your rights to seek additional money later if you need it for medical bills or unforeseen expenses.