You’ve just been in an accident. After making sure that everyone is alright, you call the police and are told that they have sent an officer to your location. An hour goes by, and there is still no officer in sight. You are considering just leaving the scene with the other driver’s insurance information and a few pictures. Before you do, read through this blog post to understand why doing so could be the wrong decision.
In order to recover for personal injuries and property damages stemming from an auto accident, causation and fault weigh heavily in determining damage amounts. While pictures are helpful, there is no single document that can be more helpful in obtaining a favorable settlement than a police report.
The police report will contain all involved parties information, statements by the parties and witnesses, a visual representation of the accident scene, and perhaps most importantly, whether either driver received a traffic citation for committing a violation.
A car accident can be a traumatic experience, and no amount of preparation can help you react afterwards. Below is a helpful list of things to do and consider after you have been involved in a wreck and before you consider leaving the scene.
- Assess the situation- Check for injuries and dial 911 for emergency services if necessary.
- If you were not at fault, call the police- as stated above the police report will be a great tool in obtaining a favorable settlement.
- Determine the extent of the damages and document them- while you are waiting for the police to arrive, take pictures of the accident scene if it is safe to do so. Be sure to include both cars, the damage to your car, the accident scene, and the other driver’s insurance and contact information.
- Speak to the other driver- make sure to remain calm and collect all of the necessary information. Whether you were at fault or not, do not apologize or admit fault for the collision.
- Cooperate with law enforcement- make sure to give a statement and obtain a receipt for a police report.
- Contact your insurance company- let them know that there was an accident, but before you tell them anything else, you should consider contacting a lawyer.
Dealing with insurance companies after a wreck can be a separate nightmare. Fortunately, the attorneys at Favret, Carriere, Cronvich can help you navigate your way to a fair damage award. Let us deal with the insurance companies so you can get on with your life.