Auto accidents are a common occurrence. According to 2012 Census data, 2/3 of all motor vehicle accidents result in property damage only. In other words, you are more likely to be in a collision that involves no injury or minor injuries than one that involves more serious harm (a fact we can all be thankful for).For the 1/3 that are involved in accidents with serious harm its important to immedietly contact an personal injury lawyer seattle.
Given this information, knowing how to handle yourself in the event of a minor to medium sized collision can help you down the road when dealing with the other driver and insurance companies. The following points will give you the inside scoop of what to do to protect your rights.
- Exchange information. After the accident exchange the following information with the other motorists involved as well as the owners of the other vehicles if they differ from the drivers of the vehicles:
- Address — personal residence and work location
- Phone numbers — cell phone, home and work
- Insurance companies — if name of insured differs from name of driver, establish relationship between them and note names and addresses of both
- Policy numbers
- Driver’s license numbers
- License plate numbers
- Description of each — car year, make, model and color, exact location of vehicle at time of accident.
- Do not admit anything. Do not tell anyone, including police that the accident was your fault, even if you think it was. Just stick to stating the facts-and only relate these facts to the police and your insurance agent.
- Photograph and document the accident. With your camera from you cell phone, photograph the damage to the vehicles. Make sure the photos show the overall context of the accident for insurance purposes.
- Get contact information of witnesses. This will prove especially useful if the other drivers dispute your version of events.
- Do not sign any documents. Do not sign any documents other than those provided by the police or your insurance agent, and then only after having read it carefully and fully understanding its contents.
- Be the last to leave the scene of the accident. If at all possible, do not leave the scene of the accident until the other drivers and police have left.
These six-steps can put you in the best position to deal with any details that come up later. If you feel you need a lawyer to help you handle the situation then get in touch with our auto accident firm to steer you in the right direction.