The moments following a car wreck can be a disorienting, adrenaline-rushed ordeal. If you wait until after the wreck to prepare, you are relying on yourself to think clearly during a very confusing time.
1. Check on Everyone Involved: Before worrying about property damage, make certain that no one is injured. If anyone is injured or appears to be injured, call 911 immediately!
2. Call the Police: Even if everyone seems to be okay and the damage appears to be minor, it is always necessary to call the police after a wreck.
3. Trade Information: After any car wreck, you should exchange information with the other driver(s).
This info should include names, driver’s license numbers, vehicle make and model numbers, license plate numbers, phone numbers and addresses. You should also get names and info for any passengers involved.
4. Don’t Apologize: This one may seem counterintuitive, but the moment you apologize for a wreck, you can easily become the responsible party in a legally binding way.
5. Take Photos: If you are able, taking photos is a great way to preserve the evidence of a wreck. Memory is unreliable at best during times of extreme stress. Photos are much more concrete.
6. Call Your Insurance Company: Your next call, after the ambulance and the police, should be to your Insurance carrier. They will help you get a damage assessment on your vehicle. If you are unhappy with this assessment, there are still options left open to you.
7. Contact Bailey & Oliver Law Firm – 479-202-5200: It may seem unnecessary to you to involve legal representation, but the other driver may not have your reservations. Hiring an attorney early in the process can help you direct questions to a professional, especially if you are contacted by other insurance carriers or another attorney.
Feel free to copy and use the following checklist. This checklist will help make sure you get the information you need and to handle a car wreck properly.