In An Auto Accident? Four Steps That Could Help In Your Legal Case
General attorneys wear many hats. In the field of personal injury law some of the most frequently seen cases have to do with automobile accidents. If you are in an accident, even if there are no apparent injuries, it's important that you take the appropriate steps in case a lawsuit is filed. First check for injuries and call 911. After that, if you are physically able, follow these four steps.They can help a personal injury attorney present your case.
After checking to see if the other party is injured, limit your conversation. No matter how much you might want to, don't apologize. That apology could be used against you as an admission of guilt. Be polite, pleasant, and comforting but don't discuss the accident. When the police arrive, both parties will have the opportunity to file a report. You don't want that report inflated by hard feelings. The police will give you a report number, which you will need for your insurance company and to consult an attorney.
Make Sure Your Paperwork Is in Order
You most likely wouldn't think of getting behind the wheel without having your license in your wallet. Make sure the required paperwork for your car, such as registration and insurance information, is also securely on board. Have that paperwork ready to show police when they arrive. Resist the urge to just change information with the other driver, even if it's a minor accident.
Take Accident Pictures
Almost everyone has a cell phone with a camera. It doesn't hurt to pull out yours and take pictures of both vehicles. Be sure and get pictures of the damage from all angles. Get shots from before and after the cars have been separated. If one or both cars are being towed, be sure to document that as well. You get a better angle of the undercarriage once the vehicle is up on a car carrier or lifted up by a tow vehicle. Also take pictures of unusual circumstances, such as an obstructed stop sign or poor road conditions, that could have helped cause the accident.
On Scene Verbal Notes
Use that cell phone to make your own verbal notes while still at the scene. Take note of the weather, road conditions and anything else that could explain what happened. Most police reports are very complete, but it doesn't hurt to have a back-up. The "on the scene" notes may also be helpful in a legal situation.
For more information, talk to a professional like Schey Piller Alspaugh & Wong Pc.