The 3 Most Important Things You Can Do After A Car Wreck
The 3 Most Important Things You Can Do After A Car Wreck To Help Your Case
Seth Smiley here from the Smiley Law Firm with today’s edition of the Parents of Teen Drivers Facebook Group. Today’s topic is something we need to prepare ourselves for “The 3 Most Important Things You Can Do After A Car Wreck To Help Your Case.”
It is a question that I encounter often, and I think these points are vital to every claim that we have as personal injury attorneys.
Most people, when they get into an auto accident, just don’t know what to do. They feel shaken up by the accident and don’t know what’s going on. Is it their fault? Is someone else to blame?
What do you need to do right afterward? If you can remember these three simple things, it will significantly help your chances of having a successful claim. No matter if it is just property damage, or if you have some injuries as well.
If you read this article to the end, I’ll give you a bonus tip as well. You can use it to protect yourself, whatever the other person’s insurance or situation is. If it’s not your fault, you’ll have a successful attempt to have a good claim.
The most important thing that I want to tell you right off the bat is that if you get into an accident and are hurt, call 911. Call an ambulance, get to a doctor. That is by far the number one thing that you want to do.
However, this is for all of those other accidents (probably 95% of them) that people get into where they’re just feeling shook up. They don’t know if they are hurt.
Many injuries take a while to settle in, sometimes up to a couple of weeks, or even months. Sometimes you don’t realize if you have whiplash or soft tissue injuries for quite some time.
Every whiplash is a concussion also and doesn’t become apparent for many days after an accident.
Tip Number 1 – Call The Police After a Car Wreck
We have talked about this before, but it is essential to call the police after an accident. Wait for them to arrive and get a police report. It is the most critical thing that you can do – call and get a report.
Too many people skip this step. They don’t want to deal with it, as they consider the incident a small accident, and maybe not much happened.
Perhaps you’re on the interstate or in a remote location, and you fear it will take a long time to sort out. Sometimes all you want to do is exchange insurance details and information and continue on your way. It is a mistake.
We see this all of the time, and it is a huge problem. What often happens is that everyone changes the story. Once they are away from the accident, the mind plays tricks, and they say, “Oh, well maybe I wasn’t running that stop sign. Or maybe the light was green instead of red.”
You can’t take people at face value. It would be best to get that independent third party (the police), verify that it was the other person’s fault, and issue them a ticket.
You then have evidence to help your claim be successful.
I can guarantee that people lose out on money all of the time regarding their claim, or their claim is lower because the police report wasn’t there.
It is because the insurance companies and the people that they insure want to say, ” Oh, well it really wasn’t my fault. I wasn’t doing this. I wasn’t doing that.”
If you have the police report, it is like having gold, and you want to make sure you have that information. Whether you’re dealing with property, damage, injuries, or anything, a police report is essential. That’s the number one thing!
Tip Number 2 – Get Your Smartphone Out And Use The Camera!
Pictures are sometimes on police reports, but you want to make sure you back up your case with the best information. Get your smartphone out and take as many relevant pictures as possible.
Take photos of your car, the other vehicle involved, the intersection, and anything else relevant.
You should also take video footage, and don’t worry that you are taking too much – you never know what is relevant. I have never had a case where I have thought, “Wow, there are too many pictures, or too much video.” It is all potentially useful to your case.
There’s always some angle or small thing that is missing, and we wish we had more. Sometimes, the police do take pictures and add them to the report, but it is rare. So if you want to be your own best friend in this situation, take the time to shoot plenty of pictures and video.
So to recap. Call the police, get a police report, and take pictures and videos at the scene.
Tip Number 3 – Get The Other Person’s Insurance, Driving Licence, And Licence Plate Details
The police almost always perform the last of the three tips, but you should have your own backup of insurance, license, and plate details. Sometimes the police don’t always get all the information correct.
You should take photos of all of that information, as well as writing it down. If the police do make an error due to being in a hurry or whatever, you have plenty of evidence of the real details.
These details are essential because if you have the other person’s driving license, then we know who they are, where they live, and how to find them.
If you have their insurance details, you know how to get your car fixed, and you know how to get the injuries you suffered paid for.
Having the license plate is vital if, for some reason, the others fall through, or sometimes the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, we can find either other insurance if you know who is insuring the vehicle itself. A lot of times, we can get that information by running a license plate check.
Last but not least is if you are hurt, call 911 and get to the hospital. The police will come out and get much of this information. Alternatively, if there is someone else in the car with you, they can also collect all of this information while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
Bonus Tip – Make Sure You Are Properly Insured
Making sure that you are adequately insured is hugely important. We get claims all of the time where people call us, and they say, “This person ended me and I feel bad, my car is messed up, and I need help.”
The first thing the other insurance asks for is proof of your own insurance. In Louisiana, we have this thing called no pay, no play. If you don’t have insurance, then you’re toast.
What happens is that you can’t make any recovery up to the first $15,000 of damage. For most cars in car wrecks, that covers all of the property damage.
Similarly, for most injuries, it makes it to where it’s not something that is worth going after unless it is a catastrophic or severe injury. It means it is essential that you have your own proper insurance.
Secondly, if a person hits you and they have a low amount of insurance, or no insurance, the only way you can recover is uninsured motorist coverage.
It is something that you have to sign off on whenever you get insurance. It’s an easy way that agents tell people to save money.
And so you don’t want to be cheap about this – you want to make sure that you have uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage because it can save the day every single time.
If a client calls us and they have uninsured motorist coverage, we can quickly check the amount and confidently tell them to go ahead and get treated, get their car repaired, etc. If the injury is severe, they can be confident that there are funds available to get healthy.
“The 3 Most Important Things You Can Do After A Car Wreck To Help Your Case.” are vital to remember whenever you are in an auto wreck, and the bonus tip is essential also.
If you call the police and get a police report, take photos and videos of the scene, and ensure that you get the other person’s driving license, insurance, and license plate, you will be in an excellent position to make a successful claim.
If your insurance is also in proper order, you can be confident that you will have the funds to take care of any injuries or property damage.
If you have any questions or have stories to share about successful or problematic insurance claims, we love to hear your feedback. Please comment below or send me a Direct Message.
If you require help after a car wreck, please contact us, and we will find you a first-rate attorney who is ideally suited to help you with your situation.
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