This article shares some great advice from Phoenix car accident attorney, Aaron Crane from Cantor Crane regarding being prepared in the event you are involved in an accident. Every day, thousands get into car accidents across the United States. Whether it is a minor or severe occurrence, car accidents are overwhelming for everyone involved. In fact, it can even change the way you remember certain events, so documenting everything as soon as possible is critical to getting the most accurate outcome.
Without sufficient preparation before ever getting into an accident, you might accidentally make mistakes that can lead to frustrating results, such as insurance refusing to cover the incident. Prepare yourself with a wealth of knowledge and preparation and you’ll be well on your way to keeping safe.
1. Prepare Before an Accident
It’s impossible to predict when you will get into a car accident, which makes today the best time to prepare yourself. Surprisingly, many drivers lack basic essentials in their vehicles, which makes emergency situations less bearable. You might have a spark plug or handy wet towels in your glove compartment, but have you replaced the spare tire? How about phone numbers, reflectors, eye drops or a first aid kit?
Design a cheat sheet
It might seem obvious that getting the other driver’s personal and insurance information is essential after an accident, but you cannot predict how shaken you will be following a collision.
In your glove compartment, keep a piece of paper that lists everything you must get should an accident occur. This reference paper can prevent you from forgetting something important.
Understand your insurance policy
Give your insurance company a quick call and make sure you understand all contingencies to your policy. Find out what’s covered and what’s not so you’re not left surprised when you try to file a claim. This will also help you prepare for charges if an incident occurs that isn’t covered by your policy.
2. Keep Yourself Safe
After an accident occurs, the very first thing you’ll want to do is do a health check for everyone in the vehicle:
- Are you injured? If so, call 911 on your mobile phone.
- Are you seriously injured? Avoid movement and just wait the ambulance to arrive.
- If you can move, check your passengers. Contact emergency services if any are injured.
- If possible, reach a safe area, such as the sidewalk or the side of the road.
- If the car can be driven safely, move it to the side of the road. Otherwise, keep it there and move yourself.
- If you have not yet called for help, do so. Shut off your vehicle and keep the hazard lights on.
3. Document Everything After an Accident
When the immediate situation has calmed down, you’ll need to document as much as possible to support your insurance claim or lawsuit.
Take plenty of photographs
A picture is certainly worth a thousand words, so take as many of your damaged vehicle as possible. Take a picture of any damages, even if they’re minor. Visual evidence of the damage will help provide better proof for insurance compared to your verbal account.
If there are any bystanders who stayed, obtain names and contact information. Their accounts can be very valuable to your case.
Write everything else down
Once you’ve obtained time-sensitive information and are away from traffic, take some time to write everything you remember from the moments right before and during the accident. No detail is too trivial to write down at this stage, whether you’re noting the time, the day, the type of vehicle, the street name, the behavior of the driver, including statements, or anything else in between.
In all circumstances, it is a good idea to consult with a Castle Rock car accident lawyer to see whether or not you may have a case. Together, you will be able to tackle the difficulty of dealing with legal issues following a car accident. After all, this is a time needed for healing and recovery, not stress and frustration.
With these three tips, you will find yourself in a much more advantageous position following a car accident in Phoenix compared to before–of course, it’s best not to get into one at all!