Every year, millions of car accidents take place. While most result in property damage, around one-third result in injury to the drivers or passengers of the vehicle. Although you might believe that you know what to do at the scene of a car accident, your emotions may take over during such a traumatic experience.
These helpful tips will help you remain safe and guarantee that you have everything you need to file an accurate car insurance claim. You will also discover why it is beneficial to work with a West Palm Beach car accident attorney.
Seek Medical Treatment
One-third of vehicular accidents lead to injuries and nearly one in five are fatal. If you or another party needs immediate medical attention, call 911 and request an ambulance. Although it is generally a best practice to stay at the scene so that you can document the events, this is not possible if you are seriously injured.
Make the Scene Safe
In addition to taking care of your injuries and those of your passengers, help protect other drivers. You can do this by setting up lights or flares around the accident. Next, you should turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights if they are still functioning. After that, put as much space as you can between yourself and traffic. You can do this by sitting in your vehicle if it is in a safe location.
If your car is too damaged, then situate yourself at the side of the road. This will help you protect yourself and others from further accidents.
Document the Scene
Once you have done what is necessary to protect the health of those involved in the accident, investigate the crash. This includes getting the name, address, and driver’s license number of those involved, as well as:
- Taking photos of the scene, including the resulting damage, injuries, and weather.
- Asking for witness accounts of the accident and receiving their contact information.
- Searching for cameras in the area that may have captured a video of the incident.
- Making sure the police are called to the scene to begin developing a police report.
Documenting the scene is an important part of the process for making an insurance claim. These initial details will also help should you go to court for this accident. By documenting the scene, you will be ready to provide evidence to your insurance company or your attorney. You will also have a better understanding of the events that occurred and why.
Start the Claim Process with Your Insurance Company
After documenting the scene, it is time to contact your insurance company. Your insurance representative will want to know where the accident occurred. They will also ask for details about the other drivers and passengers in the vehicles. Starting a claim is the first step to getting back on the road. The insurance agents will also conduct their own investigation and communicate with the other driver’s insurance company.
One important detail to note is that the other person’s insurance company will likely contact you after an accident. They may request a statement or ask you to sign a release form. Neither of these actions are in your best interest.
Before you speak to the other party’s insurance company, it is always best to consult your car accident attorney. This will help you from paying too much if you are found at fault and can also maximize the amount you receive in damages for the accident.
Discuss the Accident with An Attorney
There are several things you should do outside of the scene of your accident. This can include beginning an investigation with an attorney to take legal action. It can also involve settling or filing a lawsuit. Both steps require adequate legal counsel.
Contact law firm Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath at (561) 655-1990. Our experienced lawyers understand how to protect you after an accident and can help you get the compensation you deserve.