Getting in a car accident is one of the worst feelings you can have. Your heart is pumping; your mind is racing; you’re wondering if you’re ok, if the other person is ok, and if your car is ok. If your car is operable and if you’re well enough to drive, it’s best to pull off out of traffic, take a deep breath, and make the following three phone calls.
1. The Police
Even if you only have a minor fender bender, you still want the police to come out and make a report. The police are a neutral third party who will make a report of the location of the accident, the damage to the vehicle(s) and any other property, and any reported injuries of the people involved. Honestly answer the officer’s questions, but do not admit fault. The officer may give a citation to one or both of you, which could be used as evidence about who caused the accident. Before you leave the scene, make sure you write down all the identifying information and contact information of everyone present (including witnesses), the other driver’s insurance information, and the name and badge number of the investigating officer.
2. Your Insurance Company
It’s prudent to inform your insurance company that you’ve been in an accident. You may find yourself in a situation where your insurance company pays for your repairs and seeks reimbursement from the other driver’s insurance company. If your vehicle is inoperable, your insurance policy may provide free towing. If the other driver does not have sufficient insurance coverage to pay for your damages, you may use your underinsured/uninsured motorist provision of your insurance to cover the difference.
3. Your Attorney
You always want to consult a personal injury attorney after you’ve been in an accident. They have a lot more experience in settling insurance claims than you do. Insurance companies want to settle claims for as little as possible. Your attorney can act as your advocate with your or the other driver’s insurance company in getting you a fair settlement for your case, making sure you get a proper medical assessment, and explaining the process for settling your claim. Many attorneys work personal injury cases retain clients on a contingency basis, which means they do not get paid until you do.
Getting into an accident is a nerve-racking ordeal. By making these three phone calls, you are setting yourself up to get the best outcome for yourself, your car, and your wallet.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, please contact the Phoenix personal injury lawyers at the personal injury law firm Oracle Law Group today.
Photo credit: Goldmund100 from Flickr