As soon as you are involved in a car accident, there are certain steps that you should take. If your accident has already taken place and you did not take these steps yet, you should do this as soon as possible.
Get The Information Of The Other Party Involved In The Accident
The first thing that you should do is talk to the at-fault party. You should take down information such as:
- Their full name.
- Their address.
- Their phone number.
- Their insurance information.
- License plate and car information.
- Any injuries that they sustained in the accident.
- Information related to their state of mind. For example, if you think that they have been drinking and driving or if they were texting and driving, make note of this.
Why Get This Information?
Getting this information is important. This is because you need to be in contact with the at-fault party and their insurance company. If the at-fault party fails to stop when the accident occurred, try to take down their license plate. Get any other car information that you can. Then, you should immediately contact the police. Once a police officer comes to the scene of the accident, explain to them what happened. If you were able to get down part of the license plate number, give this information to the police officer. If you have details about the vehicle or the driver, give this information to the police officer. In some cases, this will be enough to identify the hit-and-run driver. If they find the driver, you can go through the regular process of filing a personal injury claim and suing the at-fault party.
If they can’t find the other driver, you should continue gathering evidence. Your insurance policy might cover hit-and-run accidents. If this is the case, your insurance company will pay for the damages. They will compensate you for your injuries. Even if you are not covered for hit-and-run accidents, your PIP should cover most of your medical bills and part of your lost income, if you have to take time off of work because of an injury. If you have underinsured or uninsured coverage, your own insurance company will recover the damages.
Contact The Police
Even if you are involved in a minor accident, you should contact the police. An officer will come to the scene to assess the damage, talk to you and the at-fault party, and file a police report. It is important to make sure that a police report gets filed. Even if you do not think that you are injured or that there is a lot of damage to your vehicle, you might find out about damages down the road. If this happens and you decide that you want to file a personal injury claim, having a police report on file will be helpful. If there is any issue on who is at fault, a police officer can help you sort it out.
Talk To Eyewitnesses
If there were any other drivers or pedestrians that saw the accident, try to get a statement from them. Ask them for their personal information as well. You can contact them later and have them testify to help your case.
Document The Damages
If your car was wrecked, take pictures of this damage. If you got injured, you should also take pictures of your own injuries. These photographs can be used as evidence later.
Have Damages Checked Out By A Professional
Soon after the accident, you should take your car to a mechanic to have the damages assessed. A mechanic can give you a quote of how much it will cost to fix your vehicle. The quote can be used when getting compensation on your case.
You should also see a doctor as soon as you can after the accident. Even if you feel fine, you might not initially realize that you got injured. This could be because of the adrenaline and shock that you are experiencing. It will be helpful to have a doctor look at you to see if you got injured in the accident. This report can get used later on in your case. Be sure to keep records of any medical bills, doctor’s reports, etc. These can be used as evidence later.
Write Down What Happened
Your account of what happened can get used as evidence later on in your case. Try to write down as many details as possible as soon as you can. Personal injury cases can go on for months or even years. Your memory of the events might get fuzzy in this time. It can be helpful to have a record of what happened from soon after the accident.
If the accident has already occurred and you have not taken these steps, don’t worry. Just try to take care of these things as soon as possible so that you can move forward with your case.