1. Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Glove Compartment. Drivers should carry a cell phone, as well as pen and paper for taking notes, a disposable camera to take photos of the vehicles at the scene, and a card with information about medical allergies or conditions that may require special attention if there are serious injuries. Also, keep a list of contact numbers for law enforcement agencies handy. Drivers can keep this free fill-in-the-blanks accident information form in their glove compartment. The DocuDent™ Auto Accident Kit ($19.95), supported by AAA and insurance companies, offers a comprehensive kit that includes a flashlight, reusable camera and accident documentation instructions. A set of cones, warning triangles or emergency flares should be kept in the trunk.
2. Keep Safety First. Drivers involved in minor accidents with no serious injuries should move cars to the side of the road and out of the way of oncoming traffic. Leaving cars parked in the middle of the road or busy intersection can result in additional accidents and injuries. If a car cannot be moved, drivers and passengers should remain in the cars with seatbelts fastened for everyone's safety until help arrives. Make sure to turn on hazard lights and set out cones, flares or warning triangles if possible.
3. Exchange Information. After the accident, exchange the following information: name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver license number and license plate number for the driver and the owner of each vehicle. If the driver's name is different from the name of the insured, establish what the relationship is and take down the name and address for each individual. Also make a written description of each car, including year, make, model and color — and the exact location of the collision and how it happened. Finally, be polite but don't tell the other drivers or the police that the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.
4. Photograph and Document the Accident. Use your camera to document the damage to all the vehicles. Keep in mind that you want your photos to show the overall context of the accident so that you can make your case to a claims adjuster. If there were witnesses, try to get their contact information; they may be able to help you if the other drivers dispute your version of what happened.
5. File An Accident Report. Although law enforcement officers in many locations may not respond to accidents unless there are injuries, drivers should file a state vehicle accident report, which is available at police stations and often on the Department of Motor Vehicles Web site as a downloadable file. A police report often helps insurance companies speed up the claims process.
6. Know What Your Insurance Covers. The whole insurance process will be easier following your accident if you know the details of your coverage. For example, don't wait until after an accident to find out that your policy doesn't automatically cover costs for towing or a replacement rental car. Generally, for only a dollar or two extra each month, you can add coverage for rental car reimbursement, which provides a rental car for little or no money while your car is in the repair shop or if it is stolen. Check your policy for specifics.
7. Call Romero Law Firm
The aftermath of a car accident can not only be devastating; it can also be unjust. For instance, sometimes the driver whose negligence or recklessness caused the accident does not want to admit fault. In other cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may not want to pay a fair amount.
At the Romero Law Firm, we understand the tremendous difficulty that can come after being involved in an accident, especially if it leaves you with severe injuries. Most people do not plan for the physical, financial, mental, and emotional devastation that injuries from an accident can cause.
While you are recovering from the aftermath of your motor vehicle collision, our accident lawyers at The Romero Law Firm will fight for your rights. Contact our experienced injury attorneys right away to begin your case for compensation while you focus on your recovery
Our injury lawyers work closely with medical and financial experts in presenting the facts of a case. Calling on the authority of expert witnesses, we can provide evidence to the court of any injuries or undue financial strain to help paint a picture of the burden that has been added to your life due to someone else’s negligence.
If you were severely injured or lost a loved one due to another’s actions or wrongdoing, we can bring forward life care planners and economists to present costs data analyses detailing the associated present and future costs. We take various factors into consideration in strategizing how we can fight for the full compensation you deserve.