You have probably heard that you should never move your car after you have been involved in an accident. Preserving evidence and making sure that cars are not moved or repositioned until police arrive at the scene and can assess the damage is extremely important. Moving your car can damage your case and make it impossible for you to successfully make a personal injury claim and obtain compensation.
However, accidents are incredibly stressful. Even if you are not seriously injured, the stress of being involved in an accident can affect your ability to make rational decisions. Being familiar with accident protocol and how to protect evidence that can help you later on is extremely important, and knowing what to do ahead of time can give you some focus and help you to stay calm. If you become familiar with these steps you will have a better chance of staying safe, protecting your claim, protecting your personal property, complying with regulations, and following insurance protocol.
First steps Determine if anyone is injured. If anyone is in need of medical attention, call 911 and request an ambulance. Once you have called for help if it is necessary, you should move to a safe location. While vehicles should not always be moved, if you can safely move yourself and anyone else involved, you should. If your accident happened in the middle of traffic, you should get yourself and anyone you can safely moved to a location where you are safe and will not cause further accidents. Next, contact the police.
When to move your vehicle When it comes to minor accidents like fender benders, you should not leave your vehicles where they stand. It is not necessary and can be unsafe. With minor accidents like these it will probably not be necessary for police to file an accident report, you can just exchange information with the other drivers involved.
If you cannot safely move your vehicle, or if doing so would cause further damage you can leave it where it is. In these situations you should wait for a tow truck to move your vehicle.
Protecting an insurance claim
Once you have determined the extent of the injuries, moved your vehicles, and exchanged contact information you should try to take some of these steps to make the insurance claims process go smoothly.
Document damage by taking pictures
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to notify them of the accident and begin the claims process
Answer questions from police and your insurance company
Do not discuss the accident with anyone other than police, your attorney, or insurance company. Make sure not to make comments that admit or imply liability. Do not even make statements like “I am sorry,” as this can negatively impact your insurance claim or any litigation that follows.
St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
You should contact a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer if you have questions about what to do after an accident or how to go about making an insurance claim or filing a personal injury claim against another driver. If another driver’s negligent actions contributed to the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for damages relating to the accident and any injuries you sustained.
Our experienced team of legal professionals at The Hoffmann Law Firm can help you determine what the best course of action will be after a car accident in Missouri.
To speak with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer call (314) 361-4242.