A car accident can be among one of the most stressful situations in any person’s life. Not only are the people involved worried about their own health, but they are worried about the other party’s health as well.
On top of all these emotions, both parties involved are worried about who they need to call, if they need to take photos, and eventually they will be thinking about their insurance rates and if the opposing party is intending to take this to litigation. The Sodhi Law Group has handled dozens of these types of cases and we are experts in knowing which actions need to be taken first and how to properly document the scene to defend oneself in court if needed. For future reference, this blog post will be primarily concerned with car accidents that involve higher levels of damage to the vehicles. Some vehicle collisions only result in bumps or scrapes and those are normally resolved without having to report anything. These tips will be focused on collisions with profound damage to either the vehicles or to the person involved.
- Check the other party and Report the accident – After you have moved yourself to a safe location within close proximity to the accident, get out of the vehicle (if possible) and check on the other party. Sometimes people involved in an accident can be quite belligerent and angry, so check on them if you deem it to be safe. Once you have made contact with the other party, you will need to phone the police and make them aware of the situation. This is simply to get an official report on file so that the insurance companies can have a report that is non-partisan and accurate instead of a report that is ridiculous and full of inconsistencies.
- Document, Document, Document – While the police are on their way to the scene of the accident, now is your chance to take your phone and snap pictures of your car, and their car. Be sure to take some video too if possible. This will give some context to things that were said at the accident and the physical state of each party member. Take photos of any areas on the vehicles that look damaged, the license plate numbers, any injuries sustained during the accident, and any personal property (cell phones, tablets, CDs, etc.).
- File the Claim – Lastly, file the insurance claim. At this point, either party might decide that litigation is necessary to receive full compensation for injuries and property damage. If it gets to this point than it is time to call the Sodhi Law Group and we will take care of the rest. If properly documented, the case should be easily defensible. And just as a side note – make sure to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Many individuals make the mistake of not going to the doctor right after an accident and end up with long term health problems that had manifested after the accident.
These are the three main things car accident victims need to keep in mind. And of course, above all else and throughout the process, stay as calm and collected as possible. It is really easy to let one’s emotions take over during these traumatic events, which will cloud judgement and hurt credibility. Please keep us in mind if you are involved in a serious car accident and need assistance. (209) 900-8200. Stay safe out there!