Don’t Forget to Get a Police Report

Car accidents happen every day. But somehow, you are never expecting to be in one.

If you are involved in a car accident, it can leave you not only injured, but emotionally and mentally shattered as well. That’s why it’s important to know how to handle a car accident long before one happens.

Let’s take a look at what you can do to prepare for the unexpected.

Be Prepared.

One of the best things you can do to prepare for an accident is to have a first aid kit in your car and carry safety cones and lights in your trunk.

Another is to make sure your phone is fully charged at all times.

Being organized also helps. Keep important papers, like your insurance card, where you can easily get to them. And keep a pad and pen available that you can use to take down names of witnesses and other information in the event of an accident.  Take pictures of the other driver’s car, license plate, and any documents he or she gives you at the scene.

Get Medical Attention.

Your first point of concern after a car accident is your well-being and that of your passengers. If you or one of your passengers is injured, your immediate concern is to get medical attention. Call 911 or ask someone else to. If you are seriously injured, don’t move until the medics arrive.

Get a Police Report.

Whether the accident is major or just a fender-bender, it is important to get a police report. After an accident, call the police. When the police arrive, ask that a police report be filled out, and be sure to get the names and badge numbers of the officers who respond.

It is very important to remember to get a police report. If you need to bring a personal injury action, having the police report can be critical to your case.

Exchange Information.

Assuming you are not seriously injured, be sure to exchange information with the other driver. Get the names, numbers, addresses, drivers’ license numbers, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information from all drivers involved. If there are passengers, get their names numbers and addresses also.

A few cautions here: don’t argue with the other driver, don’t admit fault, and don’t talk too much.

Why?

Because you just might be admitting legal liability. Until an accident is fully investigated, you really don’t know whose fault it is. So stay calm and keep quiet.

Take Photos.

Again, assuming you are not injured (and assuming you moved to a safe spot), if possible, take pictures of the scene and the damage to your car. Pictures can help your insurance adjuster determine how much you should be compensated for the damage to your car and can serve as evidence if you have to bring a lawsuit.

Finally…

Consider Hiring An Attorney.

When you are injured in a car accident, find out whether you should file a lawsuit. We provide free consultations. We have offices in Tigard, Salem, Albany, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Bend, and several other cities in Oregon. We also have offices in Vancouver and Tri-Cities in Washington. We offer free consultations and we can help you. To set up an appointment, call us toll free at: 1-800-682.9568.

What to Do Immediately After a Car Crash

What to Do Immediately After a Car CrashIt’s important to have a mental checklist for what you need to do immediately following an accident. At the very least, whether it’s a major accident or a fender bender, damage claims and insurance companies will be involved. What happens right after an accident can make all the difference in how claims or lawsuits get resolved. Here are some things to keep in mind following a car accident:

  • Most important of all, immediately check on the safety of everyone involved in the accident. Call paramedics if there’s the slightest possibility that anyone is injured. First and foremost, this should be done for the sake of the well-being of all involved. Secondary to that, it is important to the future success of any damage claims that you as an accident promptly seek medical attention if necessary.
  • Whether or not paramedics are needed, make sure a police officer comes to the scene of the accident. It’s essential that a police report is created to determine which driver will be held legally at fault.
  • Seek medical treatment as soon as possible, and make sure you follow through on all prescribed courses of treatment and follow-up visits. Keep a daily journal of the status and progression of your injuries. You need to be establishing a thorough medical record to document injuries in the event that you wish to seek monetary damages.
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible following the accident. Keep careful track of the claim number you are assigned and the name of your claims adjuster. Report the accident to the other driver’s insurance company as well, but be careful about what you say.
  • Seek the services of an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. An injury attorney can assist you with the documentation and in stressful claim settlement negotiations. When it comes time for a settlement, you’ll see the difference a good personal injury attorney can make when it comes time to settle the claims.