Car Accident Checklist From a Car Accident Attorney
Serving Kansas City, Independence, Blue Springs & Lee’s Summit
The legal team at The Horn Law Firm, P.C., can provide you with a variety of assistance after a car accident in the Kansas City area or elsewhere in Missouri.
However, there are several steps you can take yourself after a crash. By taking these basic steps, you can protect your right to seek compensation you will need for your losses.
1. Take a moment to gather yourself.
Getting into a car accident is a stressful, shocking experience. As difficult as it may be, take a deep breath and collect yourself in the immediate aftermath. Then, proceed in a businesslike manner. Deal calmly and politely with everyone involved. Focus on the tasks at hand.
2. Check for injuries and get medical attention.
Check yourself and others for injuries. If anyone is hurt – you, your passengers or occupants of other cars – then call 911 for emergency medical help. Even if you do not think you are hurt, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible after the crash. This ensures that you are checked for injuries that may not be readily evident. It also creates a record of any injuries you have. Make sure to keep track of your medical records and receipts.
3. Call the police.
Like getting medical treatment, calling the police creates a record of your accident. Cooperate with the officers. Do not volunteer information. Instead, provide only the information requested. Do not blame anyone for the accident, including you. (Determining fault, after all, is something that will require an extensive investigation.)
Make sure to get the name of the officer who prepares your report and get the report number. Within a few hours or days, you can obtain a copy of this report. It will play a key role in your case.
4. Exchange information.
Exchange name, address, phone number, driver’s license number and expiration date, license plate number, car registration information and insurance information with the other driver. If the police respond to the accident, they will gather this information and likely share it with each driver.
5. Collect evidence at the crash scene.
If you are able to take photos (using your cell phone, for instance), get a visual record of the accident scene. Take shots of the cars, their damage, roadside damage, skid marks, broken glass and other debris in the road. You may also consider using the video feature of your phone. These photographs will be especially useful down the road. Photograph your injuries as well.
You should also get the names and contact information of any witnesses, including your passengers. You may want to jot down what they saw or heard.
6. Call your insurance company
You must report your accident in a timely manner to initiate a claim with your insurer. So, contact the insurer as soon as practicable. Provide requested information. Do not admit or accept fault for the accident. Also, don’t downplay your injuries or damage to your car.
7. Contact a lawyer.
You are likely to be contacted by insurers who may want you to provide a recorded statement or sign a statement they have written. You should decline to do either until you have first spoken with a lawyer.
A lawyer will work to protect you after a car accident. You can simply refer insurance company representatives to your attorney.
Contact us today at 816-795-7500 to find out more.
Download and print our Missouri Car Accident checklist and keep it in your glove compartment or wallet so that should you find yourself in a car accident, you know what steps to take.