If you find yourself involved in a car accident, certain steps are imperative in gathering all the information needed to file an insurance claim and ascertain who was at fault for it.
Begin by gathering information from all parties involved in a car accident, including drivers and passengers. If possible, obtain names and contact info for any witnesses who saw what occurred during the collision.
1. Move Your Car
When involved in a car accident, it’s essential that you remain calm and do what’s right – this will save both time and money while potentially helping prevent injuries.
As soon as your car is free from traffic, the first thing to do should be moving it out of its path. If possible, park it in an appropriate public space such as a parking lot with plenty of room for it.
Locate the scene of the accident. If there were witnesses present at the time, ask them to identify both drivers involved and their respective insurance companies.
After taking note of what occurred, take several quick photographs from different angles to document and record what took place at the scene – this will not only serve as evidence against anyone involved but could be important should the need arise in court proceedings.
Use hazard lights and roadside flares to alert other drivers about the incident, in order to minimize further vehicle damage or prevent future fender benders.
As it can be tempting for individuals involved in major car accidents to make poor decisions afterward, having a plan in place beforehand can save both time and stress if something arises that forces a compromising situation upon you. Sticking to it and doing the right thing are keys components of any good plan – this could make all the difference between disaster and recovery in an incident like your next car crash – it’s never too soon or late to start developing one!
2. Call the Police
No matter the law in your state regarding car accidents, it’s essential that you call the police after being involved in an incident. Not only are they part of the insurance process; but also can help safeguard your safety after an incident has taken place.
No matter how minor the accident appears to be, it’s advisable to contact the police as soon as possible after being involved in an accident. That way, an official report can be provided to your insurance provider and, while you could exchange contact and insurance details directly, in cases of aggression from other drivers, or uncooperation between drivers, this step might help ensure things run smoothly.
Police officers will interview all parties involved and prepare an accident report, which could prove very useful if another driver disputes liability later on.
As soon as the police contact you, be prepared to provide all the identifying details they request of you, such as your name and address. This will make it easier for them to quickly locate you and attend to any issues.
Once you’ve spoken with the police, try your best to remain composed. Engage in small talk, but avoid becoming overly emotional about the crash or admitting fault.
As soon as possible, try to gather as much information on the other vehicle as possible, including year, make and model as well as license plate number and any identifying details that may help if filing a claim later on.
Do not be reluctant to take photographs of the crash scene and other vehicles in attendance if necessary – these photos could come in handy if the other driver attempts to dispute your claim or files a lawsuit against you.
3. Exchange Information
If you’re involved in a car accident, exchanging information with the other driver is vitally important for many reasons, including insurance claims and establishing who was at fault.
Exchanging information can also help avoid hit-and-run collisions in Mesa, AZ, which are illegal. Fleeing from the scene without exchanging details could result in severe fines and jail time for the offender.
First and foremost when exchanging information is to obtain the name, contact number, and insurance policy of the other driver involved in an accident. This will enable you to file an insurance claim for injuries sustained due to this incident as well as property damages and any additional costs that resulted from it.
Note the make, model, year and color of all vehicles involved in the accident. Often these identifying features are located either on the inside of their doors or an easily visible plate on their outsides.
At times it may be beneficial to obtain other drivers’ driver license numbers if available. Simply ask and they should gladly provide this data to you.
If a negligent driver hesitates to provide their details, they could be hiding something; perhaps they lack insurance or their license has been suspended.
Driver’s licenses can be an invaluable piece of evidence when involved in an auto accident, which is why you should always carry one when traveling by car.
Gather the names and contact information of any witnesses present at the scene of your accident to assist with identification in court proceedings as well as possible testimony from them if necessary.
4. Take Pictures
Take photos immediately following an accident to bolster your case and provide evidence of weather and road conditions, vehicle damages and skid marks that can help support liability claims and prove damages. These images will also demonstrate where damage occurred so as to prove fault on behalf of both drivers involved and assess damages awarded to victims.
Keep a record of the accident scene from multiple perspectives, taking pictures from various angles including close-ups of other cars and their positions. This will enable you to use them later to show how each vehicle was situated relative to nearby buildings and street signs.
Place objects into pictures to give an accurate representation of scale, such as coins or keys for smaller items and people for larger ones. Lighting can significantly impact picture quality; take photos both with and without flash to ensure clear photos that do not distort when taking the shot.
Take photos of any visible injuries you sustain from an accident, such as bruises and cuts. This will allow the insurance company to assess how severe the injury was and whether you must pay for treatment.
Take photographs of the surroundings as well. This includes items damaged in a crash such as broken glass and traffic signs; weather and road conditions could have played a part.
When an accident happens in the rain, photographs can help disprove another driver’s claim that weather conditions contributed to it. This evidence could even help your case go to court; an insurance company would more likely settle when they know there is solid proof proving this point.
5. Report the Accident
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is vital that the incident be reported immediately in order to avoid issues with the insurance provider and make the process more streamlined.
Dependent upon where you reside, depending on the circumstances surrounding an accident it may be necessary to notify both law enforcement and DMV within a set timeframe or face various penalties.
No matter how minor the accident seems, it is still essential to report it immediately in order to ensure that any injuries sustained by yourself and/or others are appropriately documented and help your insurance provider determine who was at fault.
As soon as a crash has taken place, it is vitally important that all involved gather names and contact information. This may include the other driver involved as well as their insurance company or the owner of the car involved. Also take photographs of these individuals just in case their inclusion may become necessary in court proceedings or insurance claims.
An accurate report can help ensure you receive the compensation due to you after being involved in a car accident, while also protecting you against mistakes being made by insurance providers that could jeopardize it.
After being involved in an accident, it is a good practice to immediately take pictures of all involved vehicles as well as any damages done to them and any roads or traffic signs damaged during the collision. This helps identify what exactly occurred.
Once on scene, police will conduct an in-depth examination and interview of those involved in an accident, in order to assess who was at fault and determine the amount of responsibility. They will use this data in creating a police report which is then given to an insurance provider.
And if you need a car accident attorney in Mesa, AZ or the East Valley contact Tobler Law for help.