There are approximately 6 million vehicle accidents every year in the United States, so chances are good you may be involved in one in your lifetime. The moments after an accident are often very confusing and it can be difficult to remember all the things you're supposed to do to protect yourself and your ability to be compensated for your injuries. If you do nothing else, be sure to do at least these two things at the accident scene.
Take Lots of Pictures
It's commonly said a picture is worth a thousand words. As such, a photograph of the accident scene or the damage to your vehicle could mean the difference between having your insurance claim paid and getting absolutely nothing. If you remember nothing else, be sure to take as many pictures of the accident as you can.
In addition to getting photos of the damage to your vehicle and the other cars and trucks involved, take a picture of the scene itself from a variety of angles as well as any injuries you or other people sustained. This is particularly important if there are multiple vehicles involved, because it can be extra difficult determining who is liable for which damages and the photos can help the insurance companies piece together a timeline of events.
Be sure to also get the contact information of anyone else you notice taking photos or video of the accident scene so you can ask them to send you copies of the footage if you need it at a later date.
Call the Police
It may be tempting to ignore this piece of advice, especially if you've had bad run-ins with the law in the past. However, filing a police report after an accident is important for several reasons.
First, many states require you to call the cops if anyone has been injured or a certain amount of property damage has occurred, and you could be fined if you fail to do so when required.
Second, the cops can acquire additional evidence that may not be available to you as a regular citizen. If the cops suspect the other driver is intoxicated, for instance, they can require the person to do a breathalyzer test. Sometimes they can even confiscate the other driver's phone to determine if the person was texting or performing some other illegal task while driving. Both of these things can help you prove liability for the accident and may even result in you getting more money.
Lastly, there will be an official record of the incident on file as well as any associated witness testimony which, again, may be integral to proving your case.
If you've been in an auto accident, contact an attorney firm, such as D Chadwick Calvert Law Office , as soon as possible for advice on the best way to proceed.