What to do when you or a loved one is in a wreck
1. Stop Stop your vehicle. If possible, move to the side of the road and turn off the ignition.
2. Stay Calm Remain calm so you can think clearly and handle the realities of the situation.
3. Do Not Take Responsibility This might be the MOST important thing to remember if you are in an accident. NEVER admit to fault, accept responsibility, or agree to pay any damages. Do not sign any papers or in any way insinuate that you are at fault. Assigning fault is your insurance company’s job.
4. Call 911 Call the police. They are responsible for handling the interaction between you and any other drivers or passengers involved.
The police officer will take down witness statements and file an accident report. But - and this is very important - you need to get the witnesses names and contact information, too! Until a lawsuit is filed, you cannot get the witness statements. And, in some wrecks, the police talk to witnesses but never get the witness information.
You will need to obtain a copy of your accident report for your insurance claim and your attorney can get a copy for you.
5. Check for Injuries and Intoxication Once the police are called, check yourself for injuries, and depending on the severity of the situation, check others if you cane.
Don't tell the police or anyone that you're "fine" or "okay." If you're not going to be transported by ambulance, let them know you will get checked out if necessary.
If you suspect the possibility of intoxication or influence of any illegal drugs or medications, let the police officer know immediately. Ask the officer to do a sobriety test.
6. Take Pictures Take as many pictures as possible at the site of the accident. You should take pictures of your own vehicle, other vehicles involved, and any injuries sustained. Taking pictures of the car or truck that hit you and the whole scene is very important!
7. Exchange Information Following an accident, you should exchange the following information with other parties involved.
• Name • Address • Phone number (Get the cell number for the driver who hit you!) • E-mail address • Insurance company and policy number • Driver’s license number • License plate number
8. Call an Experienced Attorney
You should contact an experienced, local car accident or trucking accident lawyer as soon as possible following your accident. An attorney will guide and help you think of a number of variables that can easily be overlooked—things that may cost you a substantial amount of money and hurt your claim.
9. Know What Your Insurance Covers Be aware of what your insurance policy covers. Specifically, you will want to know if your insurance covers the cost of towing and rental cars.
10. Be Ready to Fight for Your Rights
Unfortunately, car accidents and trucking accidents are a fact of life we all experience at one time or another. Knowing what steps to take and what your rights are makes a difference in the outcome.
Rachel Ambler is a dedicated and experienced West Texas car accident and trucking accident lawyer. She lives here and fights here. She can help you navigate the trying times following an accident, and works to get you what you are entitled to.
When you've been hurt in a car accident or trucking accident, that's exactly what you want. Call AmblerLaw today, 432.203.0303.