What to Do If You Get in a Car Accident
I’ve been in a car accident before. You’ve probably been in one, too. And with over ten million car accidents documented in the United States every year, chances are that every one of us will be involved in one at some point in life. Of course, there are steps we can take to minimize that chance, but hey! Statistics. Things just happen sometimes no matter how careful we are.
I remember my first car accident like it happened last week, and the fear and anxiety I experienced is something I have tried to keep with me while helping people in similar situations today. Since that time, I have helped hundreds of people through their time of need. Here are some steps you can take if such a day ever comes for you.
Note: This advice applies to accidents without serious injury. If you or somebody else is injured, call 9-1-1 immediately.
1. Stay Calm
Car accidents are scary. You are probably somewhere in between the realms of stress, worry, and shock. You probably have quite a bit of adrenaline running through you. Stay calm. Do not panic. Breath.
2. Stay Safe
Just because the accident is over doesn’t mean you’re safe. If your car is in decent working order, try to get it to the side of the road. If not, turn on your hazard lights to help alert other drivers to keep clear of the area. Safely exit the vehicle. Also, if you have any passengers, check them for injuries. Ask them if they’re okay. Then check with the other car involved. If their is an injury, call 9-1-1 to get an ambulance there.
3. Call The Police
Even if you think you might be at fault. Even if the other driver suggests not to, that you keep it just between the two of you. A police report can help liability, protect you from fraud, and can help keep everything calm and fair at the scene.
4. Exchange Information
Name, address, telephone number, email, insurance company, police number, and drivers license number. (We’re not messing around here.)
5. Take Notes
After you’ve exchanged information with the other driver, write down the time and location of the accident. Also note the make, model, year, license plate number, and general description of the car (including damages).
6. Take Pictures
Almost everyone has a camera with them nowadays. Don’t be conservative; take as many pictures as you can, the more the better. Get up close shots of damages and tire marks. Step back and take pictures from further back to get more context of the incident. Basically, take pictures of everything.
7. Zip Your Lips
This is an uncomfortable thing for a lot of people, but don’t say you’re sorry. Don’t admit fault. In fact, don’t blame anyone for fault. There are a lot of reasons for this, reasons that I won’t go in to here. But let the police, insurance companies, and us decide who is at fault and who isn’t. The situation might not be as clear as it seems.
8. Call Your Insurance Company
Regardless of fault, call your insurance company and report the incident. If it appears that it was the other driver’s fault, have your insurance company file a claim against their insurance company.
9. Call Us
When it comes to taking care of you, insurance companies will pay as little as possible. Let me say that again: insurance companies will pay you the smallest dollar amount they possibly can. Many people don’t realize how much they’re not being compensated. We at Tingey Injury Law Firm are the opposite: we will get you as much as we can.
We hope it never happens to you, but if it does, let Tingey Injury Law Firm be your Las Vegas car accident attorney.