Being involved in a car crash can be terrifying. If you’ve never gone through this before you’re probably trying to figure out what to do. Well, lucky for you the Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys at the Law Office of William W. Hurst, LLC have prepared a nice checklist for you. Before, however, we would like to say we hope you’re not injured, but if you are you’ll need the best representing you and that’s us.
Your first priority when involved in an auto accident should be to get to safety. If you are able to move your vehicle out of the road and get everyone out of harms way you should do so immediately.
Once everyone is safe, call the police or 9-1-1. The police will be able to control the accident site and make an official report. This will save you from getting into an argument later about what occurred and who caused the accident.
Unless told otherwise by the police, stay there. Put on your hazard lights on and get to a safe area. Leaving the scene could result in you being cited for a hit and run or fleeing the scene of an accident. You must wait for the police to arrive and let the process play out.
Write down the contact information of those involved and if possible obtain the names of witnesses. Witnesses can be crucial to making your claim. If the defendant tries to make up a story later, a neutral witness will be necessary to combat the fabricated testimony.
Use a camera or take photos of the damage to your vehicle and the surrounding area on your cell phone. Pictures are often important if you end up making a claim. If there is extensive damage to the vehicles involved it’s very difficult for insurance companies to debate whether the crash could have caused the injuries you’re complaining of.
If your vehicle is being “towed” this may be your only opportunity to do so. You should find out exactly where it will be taken so you can pick it up later.
If you are seriously injured then this is obvious, but at the time of the accident many people believe it unnecessary to seek medical attention because their discomfort is minor. Even if you don’t believe you need treatment it is wise to see a doctor. Many injuries and aches and pains can worsen over time and you’ll want to have medical documentation of the original symptoms in order to link the accident to the injuries.
Report that you have been in an accident as soon as possible. Answer all necessary questions, but do not volunteer any more information than necessary. If they are recording your statement, be concise and directly respond to the question without volunteering any extra information. Providing more information than necessary could hurt your claim.
Go to a reputable body shop or dealer and have them give you a quote for how much repairs will cost. Repair estimates, much like pictures of the damage, can be used to show the collision was severe enough to cause the injuries you are complaining of. You will also want to find out what your insurance covers for expenses related to an auto collision so you can have your vehicle repaired.
Insurance companies are not on your side. They are looking out for their best interests, which means they will attempt to get you to settle quickly and for far less than you deserve. Before settling talk with an experience Indianapolis car accident lawyer who can let you know whether the settlement offer you have received is fair.
Claims adjusters will attempt to get you to provide a statement. Do not give them one. These types of statements can only hurt your case. They will reappear months or sometimes years later and impact your ability to testify.
An experienced Indianapolis Car Accident Attorney can help you receive fair compensation for your injuries. whether your claim is big or small we can help ensure you receive a fair settlement offer and if the insurance company refuses to make a fair offer we will take your claim to trial and let a jury decide how much you deserve.