The “Association of Safe International Road Travel” has records showing that 2.35 million people sustain injuries or disabilities from a vehicle accident in the US annually. Car accidents in Phoenix are mainly caused by speeding, reckless driving, drunk driving, and destructed driving. According to the Daily Beast, Interstate 100 is one of the most deadly highways in America. A car accident has the potential of negatively impacting one’s life depending on the severity of the accident. If you get into a car crash, follow these measures to help you on the road to recovery.
Assess the Damages
As soon as you are involved in an auto-accident in Phoenix, it important that you keep your cool and determine the extent of damage caused. If anyone has been injured, you need to call 911 for medical experts to come in and offer assistance.
Record the Incident
If you are not seriously injured, you should make an effort to record all the significant details of the accident. Begin by taking photos of yourself, the other motorist, your vehicle, and the other vehicles involved in the crash. Also, take clear photos of the scene of the accident being careful to show skid marks, and the condition of the road so that liability is easily established. The police may not arrive in time; therefore, it is upon you to gather as much evidence as you can. Furthermore, there is likelihood that paralysis, whiplash, or some other injury may fall upon you moments after the crash. Obtaining evidence will help prove that your injuries resulted from the accident.
Record the other motorist’s driver’s license and license plate number. Also, note their insurance information and the model of their vehicle. If there are any witnesses to the crash, try to politely obtain their account of the incident and take down their contact information.
File a Police Report
While you are gathering all this information, make sure you have already notified the police. When the police arrive, they will assess the situation and record your account of the incident. Police reports bear valuable information regarding an accident and are critical for seeking compensation. Make sure you verify that the details in the report are accurate before requesting for your copy of the report.
It is advisable not to submit to any field blood tests as these could be easily altered to your detriment. Furthermore, you should not respond to any questions you think will incriminate you. If the police start interrogating you, it is better for you to refrain from answering any questions until you are taken to the station and your lawyer is by your side.
Notify Your Insurance Company
The moment you are involved in an accident, it is of utmost importance that you inform your insurance company. Insurance companies will only recognize claims filed within a certain frame of time. Failing to make your claim within this statutory limitation period makes you ineligible to seek damages in future. When your insurance has wind of your accident, they will send an adjuster to access the damages and come up with a value for compensation.
At this point, refrain from answering any detailed questions as this could be easily used to diminish your settlement value. It is also not smart to settle early since you may have injuries that you are not aware of. Before you accept any claim, take time to track your injuries and notice how they have affected your daily life. Wait to gain a full recovery to determine the amount of medical costs you have incurred for your injuries.
Consult a Lawyer
In minor car accidents, there is usually no need to involve a lawyer since there are no injuries involved and if there are any damages to the vehicle, they are insignificant. These incidents can be easy resolved between you and the driver involved. However, if a car accident involves serious injuries and damages, your insurance company needs to be involved. Since insurance companies are notorious for denying claims or offering low settlements, it is good to have a lawyer represent your interests.
The first thing a lawyer will do is help you gather sufficient evidence to prove that the accident occurred and that you sustained injuries. By securing a copy of the police report, witness statements, photos of the crime scene, and medical records, your attorney will be able to build a strong case against your insurance company.
In the event that your insurance provider fails to provide a reasonable settlement, your lawyer will forward the case to court. In a court trial, your attorney will use their knowledge of the law combined with the accumulated evidence to argue for a certain settlement amount.
Summing it Up
Being involved in a car accident can be a scary experience for anyone. The first steps you take after the event will determine the result of your claim. You should begin by seeking medical attention and notifying the authorities. It is also important that you gather evidence to support your claim. The steps highlighted above will help you take the right road to justice after an accident.