Getting in a car accident is never a good experience. You face the possibility of being seriously injured, losing a lot of money and the fact that you will probably have to deal with the person at fault and insurance companies. All of this can cause a lot of stress to a person, especially if you have never had any previous experience regarding this subject.
There simply is no way to avoid all that stress after an accident because you can’t just drive away after the collision. You are legally bound to stop, call the police and check the other person’s situation that was part of the accident.
Unfortunately, only a small percent of people will truly admit that they were the ones at fault. All the others will do everything in their power to avoid accepting the mistakes they have made because that will cost them a lot of money. They will be required to pay for the repairs of your vehicles, your injuries and the damage of their own vehicle.
So, if you find yourself in a situation when you simply cannot come to an agreement with the person at fault, you will need to do everything you can to prove that you are not the one who caused the collision. Here are some of the things you should do after this kind of mishap.
What to do right after the collision
No matter how carefully and safe you try to drive, there will always be drivers in traffic that make the wrong decision, which can put your life in danger. So, once it happens, you will probably be in shock. Try to breathe slowly and calm yourself. It is important that you remember the things you should do and the question you should ask the person at fault when you find yourself in this kind of situation.
We would recommend that you keep a copy of this checklist in your car at all times to ensure that you have gone through every possible question before you leave the scene of the crime.
Even after you have calmed yourself, you will still be a bit shaken up, but if you want to prove that you are not the person at fault, you will have to gather some evidence to back up your claim.
The best evidence you can provide to car insurance companies is with pictures. Fortunately, most of us have a smartphone with a camera that can catch the details of the car’s damage. Take pictures of the weather condition, skid marks, the road, your vehicle and the person at fault’s vehicle. Don’t spare your phone. Make sure that you get every detail possible on both cars.
If you can’t calm yourself, you could use one of your passengers or witnesses around you to take the photos for you.
Speak to witnesses
If there were people that have witnessed the collision, it is important to ask them about what they think about the situation. If they can support your claim, you should write down their phone number and contact information. This is very strong evidence that can be provided to the court or a car insurance company.
Hire a lawyer
Not everyone has the time and the patience to deal with this kind of a legal problem, especially when it is clear exactly who is at fault. If you do not want to spend hours of your time explaining yourself to insurance companies that you were the victim in this accident, you should consider hiring a lawyer. A car accident attorney will analyze all of the evidence you have collected and will properly present it to the company that is fighting against your claim. If it is required and if the evidence is enough to prove that you are not in the wrong, they will take the case to court.
The chances of you winning a personal injury claim in court are much higher if you have the help of a lawyer. Assuming that you have decided that you should use an attorney, you should check out McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP.
Call the police
A policeman’s word has a lot more power than a random person’s statement. So, if you are having trouble making some kind of arrangement with the person at fault, you should definitely call the police. They can properly analyze the collision, the damage of the two vehicles and they will question all the witnesses in the vicinity. The police report will be much more accurate than your statement and has a lot more meaning to a court or insurance companies.
Information about the other driver and their vehicle
It doesn’t matter in which order you follow this checklist, but it is very important that you do not forget to acquire the other driver’s information. You will need to get their first and last name, their home address and their phone number, email or any other way you could contact them in the future. But, you are not done. They probably have their car insured, which means you will need to get their insurance company’s name and contact number.
It would also be useful if you write down a description of the vehicle’s appearance, the damages sustained during the accent, the make and model and the year it was manufactured. Make sure you write down the license plate number too.
Other useful information you can write down
Since you will be taking pictures of the entire accident, this might not be the most important piece of information you will require to prove that you are not at fault, but it won’t hurt anybody if you do write them down.
• Take note of the date and time of the accident and the exact location or address.
• Write down the direction you were driving in and your original and final destination.
• Write down the same thing for the other driver.