The vast majority of Americans will either be involved in a car accident at some point in their lives (or at least someone they love will be involved in one). New safety features in cars allow more and more of us to walk away from car accidents. However, even when nobody is injured, there are damages to consider and payments to be made. Here are six things you must do following a car accident in order to preserve your claim:
- Take down all relevant details. Name, contact information, license plate number, insurance information, time, date and location of other drivers involved and any witnesses. In addition, note any details of what happened as soon as possible.
- Take pictures. It is important to take photos of any damage that has been caused as well as any other evidence such as damage on the road or skid mark patterns. Pictures taken by camera phone are a great documentation resource.
- Get yourself checked out. Even if you feel fine after your crash, you may have suffered a concussion or other injury that has not yet surfaced. Let a paramedic check you out and if necessary, go to the hospital for a full evaluation. Be sure to get a copy of the report.
- Get a police report. The police report is legal evidence as to what happened during an accident. Do not simply agree to keep the police out of it in order to avoid raising your insurance rates.
- Take your valuables. If your car needs to be towed away, be sure to take your valuables with you. The tow company is not responsible if something disappears from the glove compartment or the trunk.
Finally, be sure to call a qualified car accident attorney following any kind of car crash. Your lawyer can help you to ensure that your rights are protected and that you get everything you are entitled to from the insurance company.