Being involved in a car accident is a right of passage. It is a rare few drivers that will never experience this unfortunate event. The best-case scenario is for this to even to be a mere fender-bender. But the experience takes on a different challenge if the accident involved another party. What steps should you take to ensure the best outcome should you be involved in an accident.
The following suggestions address the things that can help you navigate this stressful event more smoothly. It can be challenging to know when you are dealing with a situation you can manage and when it’s time to contact McAllen Car Accident Lawyer. Let’s explore how to manage the accident on the scene and then later as the insurers contemplate the fault and compensations.
At The Scene
1. It’s certainly one of those situations where it’s easier said than done but remain calm. This could be a traumatic event even if the accident was not devastating. Most people will say and do things under stress that they would typically not under normal conditions. But due to the stakes of potential, long-term complications, it’s imperative that everyone involved to maintain as much self-control and level-headedness as is possible to muster. This includes arguing with any other participants. In most scenarios, the sequence of events and the responsibility of the cause of the accident is primarily determined by a combination of the police report and the insurance companies represented.
2. Check to be sure that everyone involved is okay. If there is any possibility of injury, call for medical support. Explore the vehicles involved and any surrounding property such as mailboxes, fencing, or other typical roadside objects. If there is any property damage, call law enforcement. It is imperative that to begin to establish a record of any resulting consequence of the accident.
3. Stay on the scene until all emergency services have completed their work, and you can be sure you have been authorized to leave.
4. Even if there are no apparent damages or injuries, exchange personal information and insurance policy details with all other drivers involved. It’s not a frequent occurrence, but it sometimes happens that damages or injuries are overlooked in the experience’s stress. It is better to have this information and not need it than to need it later and not have it.
5. Take pictures, lots of them. Make an effort to capture every possible angle of all the vehicles involved. Any property that may have been encountered should also be caught in detail. If this is an area outside your normal travel pattern, take a picture of any road signs or road features. Finally, if there are any skid marks or tire tracks, take a shot of those, too. They that could later be used to piece together the details of what happened
6. Request the name and contact information from anyone at the scene who may have witnessed the accident. Sometimes, those present will quickly leave once everyone is confirmed as okay or once law enforcement arrives. But their help and support can be much more impactful if they can add a perspective of what they saw as an independent, object observer. Some people may refuse to give their information and get involved, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Law enforcement will likely ask anyone still on scene for the same details and statement of what they observed if the witness was willing to hang around long enough for the law enforcement personnel to get to them.
At A Later Time
1. Make a note of all the details of what happened as soon as you are able. Start a file on all the information related to the event. This might include the other driver’s insurance information, police report, photos, and any witness contact information.
2. If there was any damage to a vehicle or other property, initiate an insurance claim. You will start by contacting your own insurance company to report the accident, but if you think you have a good case to show that you were not at-fault for the accident, make sure to communicate that to your insurance. They will then follow-up with the other driver’s insurance to coordinate a settlement of the costs involved. Ultimately, the accident’s fault and financial responsibility are often decided between the insurance adjusters of the parties involved. If you have clear evidence that the other driver was the cause, known as the at-fault party, this is often a simple agreement between the policy holders’ representatives. If the accident was less evident as to who was at-fault or if both parties are claiming to be innocent of causing the accident, the insurance adjusters will hear both their policyholder and the other driver’s statement. You may have to provide your collection of evidence and make an official statement to both insurance companies.
3. Make a diagram of the road where the accident happened. Note any speed limits, road markings, placement of any objects involved, and any location of skid marks. If possible, make a diagram of each vehicle’s location and position in snapshots of time to help give adjusters a play-by-play of how the accident happened from your perspective. What can sometimes be glaringly obvious for those who saw the incident is sometimes hard for the adjusters to piece together.
4. If you strongly feel that you have the support of the evidence and the other driver is adamant about not being at-fault, seek the help of an accident attorney to help navigate you through the process. The process of insurance claims, deciding at-fault parties, and determining settlements can be confusing and frustrating.
A car accident is stressful on the best days and with minimal damage or injuries. Sadly, many people will find themselves in this scenario at one or another. These steps will help you build the best possible case to support yourself against unnecessary costs, invalid accusations, and unfounded responsibility. Understanding the process and having an idea about how to respond before you find yourself in the situation will yield a better outcome.
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