While you can’t exactly be prepared for an auto accident, you can arm yourself with information so you know what to do in the aftermath to protect yourself and all your rights. Read on so you know what do should the unexpected happen.
Get To A Safe Location
Colorado law says you have to stay at the scene of an accident, but you also need to get to a safe place. Move out of the way of moving traffic if you can. Open your car’s hood and turn its warning lights on if you can’t get it to move.
Call the Police
For an accident involving damage, death or injury, call the police. This should be done even if you think the damage or your injury is minor.
Get the information about the other drivers in the accident, including their address, name, driver’s license number, auto insurer company name and the policy number. You should also get the details of the cars involved, such as their make and model and the names of any passengers. You’ll want to record the contact information of all witnesses and the name, department and badge numbers of any officers who respond to your call.
You should also take photos of the accident scene, including the damage and any marks on the street or other property damage.
Complete an Accident Report
The accident report is important because it is essentially your side of the story entered into the official records. If you’re unable to make a report at the accident scene because of an injury, make sure you file one as soon as you are able to do so.
While it’s still fresh in your mind, draw a diagram that shows the accident, including the positions of the cars. This will be helpful for recalling details later.
Get Medical Attention
Call for medical help if anyone at the accident site is injured. Get yourself checked out later, even if you feel fine at the time or only believe you have minor injuries. Some injuries, such as whiplash, don’t show up until well after the accident. A delay in treatment can make your recovery longer and open you up to complications.
Keep a log of all your medical expenses with proof of the charges, as you may be able to recover those later.
Notify Your Auto Insurer
Report the accident to your auto insurer. Give your insurer a copy of the police report and the other driver’s name and insurance information. Be aware that the insurer may be more interested in settling your case quickly than what is best for you, so don’t give them information about the accident itself such as details or whom you believe is at fault.
Seek Legal Help
You may need legal help after your accident to ensure all your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. As a car accident victim, you may be able to get compensation for your damages, including time lost at work and your medical expenses.
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