Car wrecks happen every day in the United States. They can easily be disorienting, expensive and painful events. This is all the more reason why you should be prepared should it happen to you. At Bailey & Oliver, we represent personal injury victims and we have compiled the following list to help guide and prepare you for such a situation.
1. First and foremost, check and make sure all parties involved are safe and call the police. If anyone is injured it is best to know as soon as possible. That way the police and other relevant authorities can be made aware of the nature of the wreck and respond accordingly.
2. Ask questions of the other driver, passengers and any witnesses who are willing to take the time to answer. This information will be immediately beneficial to your insurance company, but it can also help in a later legal case if one arises. The kind of information you should inquire about are things like: (a) names; (b) addresses; and (c) phone numbers.
3. After you have taken the time to clear your head try and take notes on the wreck itself. Look for contextual information such as where the wreck occurred and what the weather was like. Other things to look for are the extent of damage to the vehicles, are the vehicles all owned personally by the drivers, and was any damage to the car a result of the wreck or was it there before.
4. You should also make sure you retrieve the vehicular information of the other driver. This would be information such as the license plate number and the make and model of the vehicle.
5. Be sure to find out the insurance status of all other drivers involved. Find out if they are the registered owners of the car and if not, the owner’s name, address, and phone number.
6. Be on the lookout for any indications of fault. This will help with your insurance and any legal case that arises out of the wreck. Indications could be verbal, such as one of the driver’s saying “sorry, I didn’t see you there”. They could also be part of the wreck itself, such as the rear of your car being damaged in a fender bender. If any such indications arise try your best to record it, which brings us to the seventh item in the list.
7. Take as many pictures of the scene of the wreck as you can. In the age of cellphones practically everyone has the capability of documenting the scene of a wreck. This is by far one of the most important points in this list. The pictures will serve as persuasive pieces of evidence should you need to prove fault, location of the wreck, time of the wreck, the weather during the wreck, damage done to your vehicle, etc. It should also be noted that pictures taken as soon as possible are the most valuable to your case.
8. Seek legal help. Even if you do not imagine yourself bringing a case at the moment, you should keep your options open. A friend was once involved in a simple fender bender and thought that recovery would be straightforward. Come to find out however, the other driver had not told the whole truth about his insurance situation. Hopefully such a situation does not happen to you but it is a good example that my friend experienced of why it is always a good idea to keep in contact with an experienced attorney after being involved in a car wreck.
Whether you call it a wreck, accident, fender bender or crash, we can help. At Bailey & Oliver Law Firm we have years of experience litigating complex cases and representing clients who have suffered from personal injuries. Our office is located just West of Exit 81 on I-49 in Rogers, Arkansas. Give us a call at 479-202-5200.
We serve Northwest Arkansas, Rogers, Bentonville, Springdale, Lowell, Bella Vista, Centerton, Siloam Springs, Tontitown, West Fork, Elkins, Decatur, Highfill, Cave Springs, Gravette, Gentry, Pea Ridge, Fayetteville, Huntsville, Berryville, Eureka Springs and all of Arkansas.
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