Imagine driving through Rockford on your way to work. Under normal circumstances, your commute is fairly uneventful. You usually stop at the same coffee shop to grab your morning pick-me-up and sustenance to help you start the day and you almost always get stuck at the same stop light a block before your destination.
But, what if one day things deviate from the standard pattern? What if, while you are waiting for that last red light to turn green, a driver behind you isn’t paying attention and rear-ends you? Are you prepared for the aftermath of a car accident? Do you know what to do?
The moments following a car accident are incredibly important. By following certain post-accident procedures, you can strengthen your case and increase your chances of winning a claim against the at-fault driver. If you are in a car wreck, follow these steps:
Pull off the road and call 911
After things come to a stop, if it is safe to do so, pull your car off to the side of the road and out of traffic to avoid becoming involved in another accident. Once you have done this, call 911 so that the appropriate emergency personnel can assist you and the other driver or passengers. When the police arrive on the scene, be sure to file a report so that you have official documentation that details the facts of the accident to provide to the insurance companies.
While you are waiting for the police and other emergency responders to arrive, take a few moments to exchange information with the other driver. The key pieces of information you should collect include the other driver’s insurance carrier and policy number, personal contact information and the make, model, license plate and vehicle identification numbers.
Take pictures and gather evidence
If you have a camera available, take pictures of the accident. Be sure to capture multiple angles of the damage to your vehicle and any other cars involved as well as the area where the accident occurred. Also, talk to witnesses that saw the wreck. Get their contact information so that your attorney can follow up with them if you need additional evidence to prove your claim.
If you are ever involved in a car accident with a negligent driver, be sure to follow the above tips. Following the proper post-car-wreck steps can make a major difference when it comes time to file a claim with the insurance company.