A motor vehicle collision can be a harrowing event resulting in injuries, property damage and time spent away from work. Unfortunately, even in this stressful time, it is imperative that you remember a small checklist to prevent future trouble.
Some individuals choose to leave the scene of an accident. Whether they are worried about the increased insurance premiums following a collision or they assume there is no damage, so no reason to stick around, this is the wrong choice. Even after a minor collision, it is critical that you pull over to safety and complete several tasks, including:
- Take notes: Several days later, you might be asked to recount various details including weather conditions, road conditions and the flow of traffic. Additionally, you’ll need to provide the insurance company with information about the other driver, vehicle occupants and any witnesses. By noting this information in the moment, it removes the need to rely on your memory of the event.
- Take pictures: Using your cell phone or a disposable camera, it is important to document the accident. Take pictures of the vehicle damage and any injuries as well as the road conditions, surroundings and any witnesses.
- Call the police: You should first call the police to alert them of the collision. They can send a vehicle to ensure you are safe and begin an official report on the incident. Your insurance company will likely rely on this police report when you file your claim.
- Call your insurance carrier: You will need to file a claim with the insurance company. Make sure to provide them with any information you’ve already noted and answer any questions in an honest, neutral manner.
- Go to the doctor: Even if you feel fine, it is crucial that you visit a medical facility either immediately after or as soon as possible after your motor vehicle collision. There are some very serious injuries that do not always present immediate symptoms such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord damage. A thorough examination can uncover the full range of your injuries.
A vehicle collision can be a devastating occurrence. By following these steps, however, you can ensure the insurance claim process runs smoothly and efficiently. After a motor vehicle accident, it is wise to discuss your situation with an experienced personal injury attorney who can provide guidance and fight battles on your behalf when necessary.