Unfortunately, there’s a strong chance that you’ll be in a car accident at some point in your life. The moments immediately following are often chaotic, and it’s challenging to know what to do.
For decades, the personal injury attorneys at Skeeter, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey have helped thousands of people with accident claims. Here are some of our recommendations to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Top 10 Tips for Car Wreck Victims
1. Safety First
Before being concerned about anything else, first, make sure you're okay, and check on the welfare of others. Call 911 if you or someone else needs prompt medical attention. Even if it doesn’t seem that you were injured, it’s always a good idea to go to the emergency room after a car accident for a thorough exam—sometimes certain conditions aren’t apparent right away.
2. Call the Police
Never let anyone on the scene convince you the police aren’t necessary. Always call the police, get the name of the reporting officer, and get the accident report number so you can request a copy of it later if necessary. If your accident is minor, and the police don’t respond, file an accident report at the local police station as soon as possible.
3. Gather Information from Witnesses
Obtaining eyewitness contact information is critical so your legal team can follow up with them. Relevant witnesses' testimony of the accident may end up being key to your position if you have to file a personal injury case.
4. Exchange Information With Others Involved
This includes a person’s name, phone number, address, insurance company, policy number, driver’s license number, and plate number. Also, make sure to write down a description of the vehicle.
5. Take Photographs
If you’re able to, take photographs of the damage to each vehicle and the scene of the accident. Try to include each vehicle’s license plate number in the photos.
6. Make a Personal Record
As soon as possible, put all the information you received at the scene of the accident into a comprehensive, written record. Detail everything you remember, such as weather and road conditions, how the accident happened, and so on. This helps you file a claim with your insurance company and is also essential information for your attorney.
7. File a claim
Call your insurance company as soon as possible and open a new claim. Research what your insurance policy covers ahead of time to avoid any surprises.
8. Track Expenses Thoroughly
Most car accident victims are able to have their medical expenses and some lost wages reimbursed through Kentucky’s no-fault PIP insurance. However, when injuries require more lengthy treatment and recovery, PIP benefits might not be enough, and you need to file a case. In both scenarios, the detailed records you keep make all the difference in providing facts for a more accurate value of the financial recovery you deserve.
9. Don’t Give Recorded Statements
Be careful not to say anything on record after the accident or to an insurance carrier representative without the presence of an attorney. Even apologizing can be seen as admitting fault.
10. Protect Your Legal Rights
Contact an attorney immediately, especially if you were injured. Legal counsel with experience in car accident claims can efficiently handle the comprehensive aspects of your case and ensure everything is in order.