Vehicle crashes and fatalities are on the rise in Clark County and across the state of Nevada. Thankfully, most are limited to property damage. When an auto accident occurs, often times drivers and passengers are in shock and don’t know what to do after the accident occurs. If you have been involved in an automobile accident, the following things can help to protect your rights and interests.
Here’s a list of important things to do after you are in an auto accident:
1. STOP. You never want to drive away from the scene of the auto accident, even if it’s a minor one. If the vehicles are not too much in the way of traffic, they should be left where they are.
2. KEEP CALM AND REMAIN SILENT. Remember, what you do and say can be used against you and may have a negative effect on the outcome of your accident. When speaking with law enforcement or medical personnel, recount the facts of the auto accident, but make no admission of fault.
3. CALL THE POLICE. Even if no one is injured in the wreck, it is always best to call the police. You should call 911 and ask that the police, and an ambulance if necessary, to be sent to the scene. There are many reasons for this, but it will be important to have a police report when you file your claim.
4. PROTECT THE SCENE OF THE AUTO ACCIDENT. You can help prevent others from being involved in your auto accident and from harm if you light flares or turn on your 4-way flashers. If the accident happened after dark, you should make sure to stay out of harm’s way, especially if your vehicle cannot be moved far enough out of the roadway.
5. DOCUMENT THE AUTO ACCIDENT ACCURATELY. Make sure to let the police officer know what happened to the best of your recollection. Do not exaggerate any facts. If anyone asks if you have been injured, either say yes, if you have been, or that you are not sure otherwise. Never just answer that you are not injured. Make sure that the other driver’s statement does not contain inaccurate statements. Use your cell phone or camera to take photos of the damage to the vehicles and their placement in the scene. If you have any injuries that can be seen, take a photo of them too.
6. PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. Do not sign any documents or make any recorded and/or written statements until you have spoken to one of the attorneys at Gabroy | Messer. Examine and review all of the facts leading up to your accident. Speak with an attorney at our office to discuss your recollection, the physical evidence, and any witness statements about the accident. Do not interfere with the police’s investigation of the scene.
7. EXCHANGE INSURANCE AND CONTACT INFORMATION. Normally, it is the duty of the investigating officer to obtain this information from each driver involved in the automobile accident. But in case the police are not involved in the investigation, be sure to get the name, address, and phone number of every person involved in the accident, both drivers and passengers. Be sure to get the vehicle registration and insurance information of any other vehicles involved in the crash. Take photos documents of these if possible, but at least get the necessary contact information, including the vehicles VIN and license plate numbers as well as the insurance policy number and contact info. If the police investigate the accident, they should provide you with a document showing the police report number. You or your attorney will need that to request a full accident report when it is completed. If the accident occurred on a state highway, you will need to get the report from the state police.
8. REPORT THE AUTO ACCIDENT. Be sure to notify your own insurance provider right away. If you have been injured, determine if your policy covers medical benefits and use them before your medical insurance.
9. GET MEDICAL ATTENTION. Many times, when a person is injured in an automobile accident, the symptoms may not appear right away. Much of the time, the pain comes on a day or two after the accident occurs. You should be checked out by medical professionals, either at the emergency room of your local hospital or your primary family physician. If you lost consciousness at any time during or following the auto accident, you should get medical attention immediately.
10. KEEP A RECORD. Make sure to keep copies of all the information you gather and keep it together in one place. This will include the police report number, the insurance claim number, the contact information of the insurance claim adjuster assigned to your auto accident, and any receipts for expenses you have paid as a result of the accident.
CONTACT AN ATTORNEY. Probably the most important thing you can do after being involved in an auto accident is to contact your attorney. The automobile accident specialists at Gabroy | Messer are aware of everything that needs to be done to protect your rights to the greatest extent. He will make sure that all valuable evidence involving your accident is protected and used correctly. Never make a statement to the other people involved in the accident or their insurance company representatives without first consulting a qualified auto accident attorney, such as the ones available at the Gabroy | Messer. Your attorney will make you aware of any issues involved, from how to get the compensation due to you to help you get the necessary medical coverage. Feel free to contact our office online or by calling 702-259-7777 to schedule an initial consultation.