What if I’ve been hurt in a car accident?
When you have been in a car accident, truck accident or motorcycle accident, understanding what to do next is of vital importance. Obviously securing the safety of everyone in the accident is the first priority. Call 911 if anyone is injured.
Get the name and address of the driver of each vehicle. The owner of the vehicle may not be the same as the driver, so be sure to also get the name and address of the owner of each vehicle involved. The license plate number of all vehicles involved should be recorded. Lastly, the name of the automobile insurance company for each vehicle should be obtained. When possible, get the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of any eye witnesses to the accident. The passengers in all vehicles involved can also provide vital testimony.
If there is any type of injury, police should be called to investigate the accident, and prompt medical attention should be obtained. The police officer will write a report including the details of the accident as well as the nature and extent of any damages and injuries. Insurance companies usually will require that a report of the accident be obtained before providing any benefits.
You also want to take a photo or write down anything that may have contributed to the accident. Note the weather conditions at the time of the accident. Take pictures of anything that may have obstructed the view of the driver (i.e., overgrown bush, poor sign placement, etc.)
It is important to immediately contact your own motor vehicle insurance company to report a claim, however, it is wise to speak to an attorney before giving any details about your injuries or treatment or before providing a statement to your insurance company.
If you are seriously injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, don’t talk to any representative of the other driver’s/owner’s insurance company until you have sought the advice of your own attorney. If you do obtain the services of an attorney, he or she will be able to help you determine who you should talk to while continuing to protect your own interests. Once you have signed a contract with an attorney, he/she can also speak directly to the insurance company on your behalf.