What To Do After Being in a Car Accident in Indiana? – Advice from an Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer
Step 1: Get To Safety:
Your first priority when involved in an auto accident should be to get to safety. If you are able to move your vehicle out of the road and get everyone out of harm’s way you should do so immediately.
Step 2: Call for Help: Once everyone is safe, call the police or 9-1-1.
The police will be able to control the accident site and make an official report. This will save you from getting into an argument later about what occurred and who caused the accident.
Step 3: Stay On The Scene Until The Police Tell You to Leave:
Unless told otherwise by the police, stay there. Put on your hazard lights and get to a safe area. Leaving the scene could result in you being cited for a hit and run or fleeing the scene of an accident. You must wait for the police to arrive and let the process play out.
Step 4: Write Down The Contact Information Of Everyone Involved In the Collision And Those Who Witnessed It:
Write down the contact information of those involved and if possible obtain the names of witnesses. Witnesses can be crucial to making your claim. If the defendant tries to make up a story later, a neutral witness will be necessary to combat the fabricated testimony.
Step 5: Take Pictures of The Vehicle Damage And Surrounding Area:
Use a camera or take photos of the damage to your vehicle and the surrounding area on your cell phone. Pictures are often important if you end up making a claim. If there is extensive damage to the vehicles involved it’s very difficult for insurance companies to debate whether the crash could have caused the injuries you’re complaining of.
Step 6: Remove All Valuables And Personal Items From Your Vehicle:
If your vehicle is being “towed” this may be your only opportunity to do so. You should find out exactly where it will be taken so you can pick it up later.
Step 7: Get Treatment for Your Injuries:
If you are seriously injured then this is obvious, but at the time of the accident, many people believe it unnecessary to seek medical attention because their discomfort is minor. Even if you don’t believe you need treatment it is wise to see a doctor. Many injuries and aches and pains can worsen over time and you’ll want to have medical documentation of the original symptoms in order to link the accident to the injuries.
Step 8: Call Your Insurance Company To Report The Collision:
Report that you have been in an accident as soon as possible. Answer all necessary questions, but do not volunteer any more information than necessary. If they are recording your statement, be concise, and directly respond to the question without volunteering any extra information. Providing more information than necessary could hurt your claim.
Step 9: Get A Motor Vehicle Repair Estimate:
Go to a reputable body shop or dealer and have them give you a quote for how much repairs will cost. Repair estimates, much like pictures of the damage, can be used to show the collision was severe enough to cause the injuries you are complaining of. You will also want to find out what your insurance covers for expenses related to an auto collision so you can have your vehicle repaired.
Step 10: Do Not Accept A Settlement Offer From An Insurance Company:
Insurance companies are not on your side. They are looking out for their best interests, which means they will attempt to get you to settle quickly and for far less than you deserve. Before settling talk with an experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyer who can let you know whether the settlement offer you have received is fair.
Step 11: Do Not Give A Statement To Any Claims Adjusters:
Claims adjusters will attempt to get you to provide a statement. Do not give them one. These types of statements can only hurt your case. They will reappear months or sometimes years later and impact your ability to testify.
Step 12: Contact An Experienced Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer
If you ever find yourself in that distressing situation and have incurred property or personal injury damages, you need the help of an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer right away.
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Hurst Limontes LLC is a personal injury law firm in Indianapolis, IN