What do you do at the scene of a car or truck accident?
A car accident or a semi- truck accident that is not your fault can be the most terrifying experience you will ever face. If you are ever involved in a car accident or truck accident, especially an accident that results in your being injured, there are certain things that, if you are physically able, you should do at the scene of the accident to properly preserve your claim for damages.
First of all, assess your physical condition, and the condition of anyone riding as a passenger in your vehicle. If anyone in your vehicle is complaining of any type of injury, immediately call 9 1 1, or ask someone on the scene to do so. Even if the injuries are not life threatening, the police should be called as soon as possible.
Second, if you are physically able to do so, begin to collect information regarding the accident. Be prepared, and always keep a small notebook and pen in your glove compartment. You cannot depend on the police to collect everything you will need. At a minimum you should obtain the following information:
- The name, address and telephone number of every driver of every other vehicle involved in the accident; and
- The name address and telephone number of every passenger in every other vehicle involved in the accident; and
- Write down the make, model, and license number of every vehicle involved in the accident; and
- The name address and telephone number of every witness to the accident; and
- Insurance information, including the company name and policy number from every driver of every other vehicle involved in the accident; and
- If the police report to the scene of the accident, obtain the name and contact information for each reporting officer, and the police report number; and
- If you have a cellphone, take pictures of the scene of the accident, including photos of the damage to all vehicles involved in the accident.
Third, you should not volunteer any information to anyone that was involved in the accident. Be an active listener. If another driver tells you the accident was his or her fault, write down what you have been told, and by whom.
Fourth, when the police arrive on the scene, you will likely be asked to describe what happened. Be as complete and as thorough as you can be. As your damage claim progresses, the police report will be relied on by insurance adjusters and attorneys.
Finally, if you are hurt, do not decline medical treatment. Insurance adjusters love to use a person’s initial refusal to seek treatment at the scene of an accident to deny or attempt to diminish the value of a claim.
If you have been involved in a car accident or a truck accident, feel free to contact attorney Russ Purvis at Tieman, Spencer & Hicks, LLC for a free consultation.