What to do before a car accident.
There are several great articles about what
to do after a car accident. See an example below. It is important to
know what to do after an accident
because, financially speaking, there is a lot on the line. What you say
or do after the car accident can sway the financial responsibility
toward or away from you.
However, in order to fully protect yourself you need to plan ahead as well. What happens before a potential car accident can also influence what happens after the event.
Make sure you have adequate insurance.
Properly assess your tolerance for risk and buy the appropriate insurance.
Make sure you understand what coverages you have and don't have.
A couple examples: Understand what full and limited tort means / the difference between collision and comprehensive
Make sure you have a current inspection sticker and registration sticker, if required.
An accident attracts police, inspections, and questions. Don't get a ticket at the accident scene.
Keep a copy of your insurance card in the glove box.
This will expedite things at the scene of the accident.
Pack a disposable camera in your car.
Pictures are worth a thousand words.
Pack pens and notepads.
Witnesses are worth almost as much as pictures. Be sure they can write down their stories and contact information.
Your medical insurance information.
If you are injured and need medical attention this will make things much easier if you are taken to a medical facility.
Emergency contact numbers.
These are for both you and the police. If you can't call, the police can. If you lose your car, but are ok, you will need help.
* Do immediately call for medical help if someone is injured.
* Do call the police. They'll document the accident and gather facts at the scene where the accident happened. If you don't call them, it'll become your word against the other driver's.
* Do exchange information with every person involved in the accident, including: address and phone number; license plate number; the make, model, and year of the vehicle; insurance information; car registration number; and license number.
* Do get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses – including bystanders and passengers.
* Do keep a disposable camera in your car or use your camera phone to take pictures of the accident, damage to your vehicle, and the area where the accident happened.
* Do collect any physical evidence that could have caused the accident or made it worse.
* Do gather details: draw a diagram of the accident; note the date and time; write down what the weather was like at the time; record the location, including any landmarks; and any other information that might be important.
* Do report the accident to your insurance agent as soon as possible.
* Do call an experienced attorney. Our highly rated law firm sends accident investigators to collect valuable evidence for our clients' cases. Remember, evidence disappears quickly, so it's important to contact us right away.
* Do follow our steps to take after a car accident.
* Don't panic. Try to remain as calm as you can and call for help.
* Don't leave the scene of the accident.
* Don't discuss the accident with anyone except the police.
* Don't accept blame for the crash, and don't accuse the other driver either.
* Don't forget to document and take pictures of everything, especially your vehicle.
* Don't speak to anyone from the at-fault person's insurance company before talking with a lawyer. If you give a statement or allow yourself to be recorded "for accuracy purposes," they'll use it against you later.
* Don't sign any papers an insurance company gives you.
* Don't agree to a settlement of your case until you get legal advice.
* Don't wait. The longer you wait to get legal advice, the harder it may be to prove your case and build the value of your case. Edgar Snyder & Associates® offers a free legal evaluation with no strings attached, so you have nothing to lose.
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