You’ve been involved in a wreck, but now what? In the days of social distancing and a worldwide pandemic, it can be tempting to avoid dealing with the other driver. But this is never a good idea, even if there appears to be little or no damage. Here are guidelines for how to protect your rights.
ALWAYS STOP. Never drive away from the scene of an accident, even a minor one.
CALL THE POLICE. Even if no one appears to be injured, it is still a good idea to call the police. You often need a police report to file an insurance claim.
PRESERVE THE SCENE. If it is safe to do so, leave the vehicles involved in place until the police arrive. Set up flares or turn on flashers to route traffic around them.
MAKE A STATEMENT. When talking with the police, explain simply what happened. Do not speculate or embellish.
TAKE PICTURES. In today’s modern world, our cell phones are a perfect way to document wrecks. Take photos of all vehicles involved, as well as the scene of the accident. Snap a picture of anything that you think could be helpful.
EXCHANGE INFORMATION WITH THE OTHER DRIVER(S). Make sure to give your insurance information to others involved in the wreck and be sure to get their information. Again, your cell phone can be a great tool. Snap a photo of both sides of the insurance card as well as license and vehicle registration.
NOTIFY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible even if you are not at fault.
KEEP A JOURNAL. Keep documentation of everything related to the wreck. Write down all of the specifics of the incident as soon as you can. If you rely on your memory, you could forget key details. Also, keep all letters and other correspondence regarding the wreck, even if you think it is not important.
PROTECT YOURSELF. Even if you do not feel you “need” an attorney, you should consult one anyway. Even the simplest cases can go awry, causing you frustration, hassles and loss. Remember, the earlier you contact an attorney, the more help that attorney is able to provide.
Do you have questions about a vehicle wreck? Contact Tammy Bowles Raines for a free consultation. She will evaluate your case, answer any questions and make sure you are protected.