As we head into fall (with the holiday season not far behind it), you can usually expect the traffic on the roads to increase – and the accident rate to climb.
So, what’s the best way to handle the aftermath of a wreck? You want to protect your interests as much as possible under the circumstances, and that means being proactive in your approach while you’re still on the scene.
Naturally, you want to make sure that you call the police and call for an ambulance for anybody who is clearly injured. Put on your hazard lights, and get your license and registration ready. Then, make sure you don’t forget the following:
Get the other driver’s insurance information.
If possible, ask the other driver if you can exchange information about your car insurance carriers and policy numbers. Make sure that you limit your discussion to just the insurance information, however, so you don’t say anything that could be considered an admission of responsibility for the wreck.
If you are uncertain about approaching the other driver, ask the police officer on the scene to get the information for you. Having that in hand can make it much easier to pursue your accident claims, later.
Look for any witnesses and get their accounts.
Car accidents happen so fast, everything may be a blur to you – but your passengers and bystanders may have a clearer memory of what actually happened.
If any pedestrians or other drivers stuck around after the wreck, ask them to leave their names and contact information and briefly make a note of what they said they saw. That way, they can be contacted later to provide testimony that can help determine how the wreck happened and who is really liable.
Document the forgettable details.
It may surprise you just how fast your memory of events starts to fade, which is why it is so important to write down everything you can as soon as possible after the wreck.
Use your phone to take pictures of the scene, including traffic conditions and the weather. Then, take some quick notes that include everything you remember about the wreck. Sketch a quick diagram of the scene that shows the position of the vehicles before they are moved and jot down anything that seems even vaguely important.
If you’ve been in a car wreck here in Nevada, make sure that you have experienced legal assistance with your claim.