Summertime and road trips go hand-in-hand, but not every day is picture-perfect out on the road.
Automotive accidents happen every day, but they don’t always happen to us. Despite all you’ve learned to stay safe on the roads, it can be easy to forget what to do when accidents do happen.
Whether it’s a collision, theft, vandalism, or Mother Nature (i.e. hail damage), it’s important to stay calm and treat the safety of yourself and others as first priority. If anyone involved is hurt or in need of assistance, make sure to call for emergency medical services if needed.
Before filing a claim, the following information is vital to write down and exchange at the scene of an auto accident:
Driver License number
License Plate number
Insurance Provider and Policy Number
Photos of the incident itself, from multiple angles. This includes vehicles, damages, and license plates.
Now, it’s important not to admit fault and only tell your account of the incident to law enforcement and the insurance representative with which you’ll file a claim. If you’re driving someone else’s vehicle, be it a friend’s, parent’s, partner’s, or employer’s, their information should also be shared with law enforcement and the other drivers involved in the accident.
This information gives insurance companies a more detailed look at the incident, beyond a police report, and may help you get more money out of your claim. Insurance companies are, historically, less likely to offer exactly what damages actually cost. An insurer may question whether you were at fault or require more documentation than you’d expect, to pay out what you really need to restore your vehicle, your health, and in many cases, lost wages.
What many drivers forget is that it’s important to take down the names and numbers of witnesses who were not operating vehicles but may have seen the incident occur. Though eyewitnesses are often inexact in their accounts, they can provide key information to law enforcement and corroborate information set forth by the drivers involved. Not only can reinforced accounts help law enforcement officers to prevent future auto accidents in the future, but they can also increase your chances of winning a settlement and avoiding costs you shouldn’t be responsible for in the first place.
Law enforcement agencies can also provide copies of police reports filed for your particular incident, in case you’re looking to settle a claim.
If you’ve been injured in an accident or simply want to pursue a settlement for damages, medical bills, and other costs incurred, it’s beneficial to seek the advice of a licensed attorney in your area. Navigating insurance and claims isn’t a feat to tackle on your own, and the help of an experienced attorney at law can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in out-of-pocket costs.
Call Andrew T. Brake, P.C. if you’ve been in an auto accident and make sure you’re getting the aid, assistance, and cash, you deserve.