What to do when involved in a car accident
Written by Courtney Leigh Winston, Trial Attorney for the Pendleton Law Team
If you’re involved in a car accident, the actions you take in the moments immediately following the accident are crucial. At Christina Pendleton and Associates, all of us work hard to advocate on your behalf; however, there are things that you can do to improve the value of your case.
Eight Steps to Take When Involved in a Car Accident:
1. Stay on scene. If you need to move your car to be safe, that’s okay. But never drive away from the scene of an accident. Talk to the other driver to make sure that person is okay.
2. Call the police. Wait for law enforcement to respond to the scene. When the police arrive, give an accurate description of the accident. Don’t guess about facts that you don’t know or don’t remember. Don’t talk to anyone else on the scene about the accident itself.
3. Ask for the police report number or police crash report before the police officer leaves the scene. These documents are useful in determining who was at fault for the accident itself.
4. Take pictures. Photograph the damage to your car, the other driver’s car, and the scene itself. Taking pictures immediately after the accident will not only show the damage to the cars, but will also include other details like the weather, time of day, flow of traffic, road conditions, etc.
5. Exchange information with the other driver. Make sure you get the name and insurance information from anyone else involved in the accident as well as the car make, model, color, and year.
6. Talk to witnesses. Ask for the names and phone numbers of anyone willing to talk to the police or come to court to testify about what they saw.
7. See a doctor. Many people who are involved in an accident aren’t aware of their injuries until days after the accident, likely due to increased adrenaline. If you’re involved in an accident go to the emergency room or book an appointment with your primary care physician to ensure that you’re not injured.
8. Call 804.250.5050. Hire an attorney as soon as possible. Do not accept any offers from the insurance company without consulting an attorney. Oftentimes insurance companies will undervalue your case and offer to settle quickly to avoid paying you more money. The attorneys at Christina Pendleton and Associates don’t get paid unless we recover money for your injuries.