Car accidents are common but can be a scary and stressful experience. Physical and emotional damage can have long term impacts on your quality of life. Lawsuits and damages can also drag on adding more complications to your life.
If you are in a car accident here are tips to make sure you’re following the law and getting the best care possible:
- Make sure you stay at the scene. Even if it’s a minor fender-bender driving away can create more issues and in some cases be a crime.
- Assess if anyone needs medical attention. If you or anyone else is injured seek medical care immediately. Sometimes pain doesn’t occur until the day after an accident or even later. If this is the case you should still see a doctor and confirm if additional care is needed. Documenting injuries with the doctor you see is also critical in supporting your case. Doctors can provide records showing the care you received following the accident.
- When possible, pull over to the side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights or set up flares to make sure your car is visible to other cars. A flashlight may be helpful for waiting at night. Find a place to safely wait for police and a tow truck if needed.
- Contact the police. Even if the accident is minor, having documentation is important. Your car insurance may require a police report to file an insurance claim. Police will arrive to assess the damage and help clear the road if needed. You may also need to provide a statement to the police. Stick to the facts including what was happening before the accident.
- Take detailed notes. Document everything that you can in case you need to create a case including time, license plate numbers, location, etc. Take pictures. Have anyone who was in the car with you take notes and pictures as well. Capture any visible injuries to you, passengers and any other observed damage. If there are witnesses and it is safe to talk to them get a statement and contact information from them.
- Exchange contact information with whoever else was in the accident. This information should include their name, address, and telephone number. Be sure that anyone who is in the car with you provides their information to the other driver and that you get all of their information. Your car insurance will likely want this information as well.
- Contact your car insurance. As soon as you can safely contact your car insurance inform them of the accident. They may request a copy of the police report as well as information from the other driver. Provide them with photos and your notes to make your insurance claim clear and easy to process.
- Keep all of your documentation. Insurance claims may take months to settle and lawsuits can drag on. Be sure to hang on to any and all documentation from the car accident including photos, any medical visits or bills, and the police report. Having witness statements and other notes available in the months following the car accident can strengthen any case brought against you and ensure that you are getting the payments you are owed.
- Assess if you need a lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can assist you with the process of making sure your medical bills as a result of a car accident are covered. They can also help you determine if you are owed for emotional or physical damages resulting from the car accident. Consulting a personal injury lawyer can cut down on the stressful process of navigating courts following a car accident.
Rabb and Rabb, PLLC is dedicated to protecting the rights of those hurt in Arizona auto accidents. Call 520-888-6740 to learn more and schedule a free consultation.