Car Accident Attorneys – Auto Crash Lawyers
A common misconception about car accidents is that it does not happen to “good drivers”. Of course, this is not the case as even the most careful drivers can, through no fault of their own, sometimes be involved in a car accident. In light of this, it is vital that all drivers are prepared and know the important steps to take in the unfortunate event that they are involved in a car accident.
If you have been involved in a car accident, or any motor vehicle accident for that matter, be sure to follow these important steps:
1. Remain calm.
It is very normal to feel upset and anxious if you have just been involved in an accident. However, it is important to try to keep your cool, otherwise, you might forget crucial information and details that can be very useful down the road.
2. Seek medical attention.
Call 911 and ask for an ambulance to be sent to the scene if you or someone else is injured. It is important to note that, sometimes, it is not immediately obvious if you or the other party (ies) involved in the accident are injured. For this reason, it is a wise decision to call an ambulance even if you think (but are not certain) that you or the other involved party (ies) may be injured.
3. Contact local police authorities.
It is important to file a police report as quickly after the accident as possible to document the facts accurately and to ensure that crucial details and / or information are not forgotten. This is also a key step in ascertaining the party at fault.
When speaking with the police, always be sure to conduct yourself in a polite manner and never, even if you think that you may be responsible, admit fault for the accident. On the other hand, do be sure to let the police know if you think that someone was driving impaired or distracted.
Do not leave the scene of the accident until the police have given you permission to do so.
4. Collect all relevant information.
After leaving the scene of an accident, it becomes increasingly difficult to gather critical information from those involved in the collision. For this reason, it is crucial that you collect all relevant information from drivers, passengers, witnesses, and pedestrians. The information that you will need from those involved in the accident includes:
o Full names
o Phone numbers
o License plate numbers
o Make and model of cars
o Insurance status of the driver
o Name of the person to whom the vehicle is registered
It is also important to record the names and contact details of any witnesses.
5. Collect witness statements.
If you can identify anyone who may have seen the accident take place then you will want to obtain their names and contact information as soon as possible. Make sure that you do not discuss the accident with them but, rather, ask them questions about what they have witnessed. For example, ask them what they saw, if they saw the other driver operating their vehicle negligently, if they have seen any other accidents at that location or if they overheard the other party (ies) involved say anything. It is possible that a witness may have overheard the other party (ies) admit guilt.
Make sure that you write down all of the information that the witness relays to you as it may help you with your case.
6. DO NOT ADMIT FAULT.
This is very important. Your admitting fault, whether you believe it to be true or not, can significantly and negatively impact your rights and the outcome of your case. Admitting fault can take the form of blatantly stating so or even by apologizing. Do not apologize to anyone, including the police.
7. Do not speak to insurance companies or sign any documents.
Do not give statements about the accident or your injuries to anyone except for the police, your doctor, or your lawyer.
Giving statements to insurance companies without your lawyer’s approval can be detrimental to your case.
It is also imperative that you do not sign any documents without your lawyer’s advice unless it is for the police or your own insurance agent.
8. Take pictures of the scene of the accident.
If you have a cell phone it is a good idea to take pictures of the accident scene including damage to vehicles, injuries, skid marks and street signs. If you do not have access to a camera on your phone, or another electronic device (i.e. tablet) then you might want to consider keeping a digital or disposable camera in your glove compartment.
9. Make notes about the accident.
To ensure that no potentially important pieces of information fall through the cracks, it is a good idea to make notes about the accident as soon after it occurs as possible. You might want to include the following details:
o Time accident occurred
o Weather conditions
o Names and badge numbers of responding police officers
o Vehicle condition (before and after the accident)
You can also inquire as to whether the opposing party’s (ies’) vehicle had any damage prior to the accident, for example, non-functioning brake lights. It can also be important to ask if any of the vehicles involved in the accident were company-owned.
Lastly, be sure to make a note of any individuals who have admitted fault or are taking the blame for the incident.
10. Contact your insurance company.
Call your insurance company and let them know that you have been involved in a car accident. Make sure to cooperate with and be polite to your insurance agent.
However, if you find that your insurance company is being uncooperative then it is important to seek legal advice immediately. We have a number of skilled and compassionate personal injury lawyers who have years of experience dealing with insurance companies. We can help you right away; Give us a call today! 855-851-2001.
11. Call our attorney as soon as possible.
If you have been injured, or a loved one has been injured or killed, as a result of a motor vehicle accident then you need to act quickly. It is possible that your right to seek compensation from the liable individual and / or business may be compromised if you delay action. Our personal injury lawyers at our firm can help you understand your legal rights and fight for the compensation that you deserve!
When you are represented by our Personal Injury Lawyers, we help ease the financial burden. We do not ask you for any money upfront, and we only get paid if we make a recovery in your case.
Do not wait; call our Personal Injury Lawyers, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, today for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL consultation!