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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published July 13, 2015. The practical steps to take after an automobile accident have been updated and tips provided to the reader.
Being involved in an automobile accident is a time of extreme emotions. While you may think you will know what to do, often, in the chaos and confusion of an accident it is easy to forget, especially when injuries or even fatalities are involved.
These practical steps can help protect you and your family immediately following an automobile accident.
Tip: Serious injuries or not, best practice is to ensure a police report is filed. Police reports, typically needed when filing a claim with your insurance carrier; give you an official person to help gather the accident details. When giving your information, realize you may not know all the facts so do not speculate or guess about accident details. Be sure to get the officer-in-charge’s full name, badge number, and report number.
Call or ask for help such as a tow truck. Depending on how much damage your car sustained, it may need to be towed to a collision repair center. (Your insurer may be able to arrange the help you need such as a tow truck, rental car or other roadside assistance through an app.)
Tip: Beware of “bandit” tow trucks. These are the guys who pull over and offer tow your vehicle to a repair center. Be careful; scams abound, and this may be one. Do not assume the tow truck is reputable. Always verify the driver’s credentials and take down all contact information.
Tip: Designate a spot in your car to keep your registration, proof of insurance card, contact information and a list of key things you need to remember at the scene of an accident. Having a checklist in hand will help you navigate the process.
Tip: Take the high-tech route. Today, many insurers offer virtual tools such as a mobile phone app to allow you to begin the claims process online. Check your proof of insurance card for instructions or call the toll-free phone number. Your insurance company will ask for lots of information about the accident and may even prompt you to use a remote inspection tool via your smartphone.
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If the accident was due to the negligence of another driver or motorist, product failure or highway defect, you should talk with an attorney familiar with personal injuries. He or she can help you recover compensation for accident-related injuries, including lost wages.
Serious injuries occur in automobile accidents, some of which may not show up until weeks after an accident occurs. Some of the most common injuries include:
These injuries can be life altering and a financial drain. When accidents are caused by the negligence of another, a personal injury lawyer will negotiate a financial settlement on your behalf.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a family member in an automobile accident due to another’s negligence, contact the experienced attorneys at Nash & Franciskato for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case.
Call (877) 284-6600 and one of our experienced automobile accident attorneys will speak with you personally.
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