You might be surprised to learn the frequency of accidents on Alabama roadways. According to Drive Safe Alabama, during 2017, every 11 minutes someone suffered an injury in a car accident. What you may not know is what steps you need to take to recover financially after you are the victim of a negligent driver on Alabama roadways. There are some steps you should take immediately following a car wreck, the first one being to ensure you remain safe by getting as far off the road as possible.
Step One: Immediately Report the Accident
Once you are certain you, and any other parties involved in the accident are safe, you should immediately call 911 for assistance. The accident must be reported to law enforcement, and you also should be checked for injuries.
Step Two: Share Information and Take Photos
Assuming both drivers are sufficiently aware of what is happening, you should obtain the name, address, and telephone number of the other driver as well as their insurance information. You should also gather the contact information of anyone who was witness to the accident. In addition, use your cell phone to obtain photographs of the area.
The following photos and information could be very helpful when you file a claim with your insurance company:
- The general scene of the accident including cross streets, and traffic signals
- Damage to your car, injuries to anyone involved in the accident, damage to other vehicles
- Any roadway signs that might indicate speed limits on the road you’re traveling
- Make note of road conditions as well as the time of day
- Collect the names and phone numbers from any witnesses
Step Three: Seek Medical Care Regardless of How You Feel
Regardless of whether you feel like you have a serious injury, you need to get medical attention. Whether you go to a local emergency room, or you see your own private physician, you want to take the time to be thoroughly evaluated after a car accident. Remember, this type of trauma causes your body to release large quantities of adrenaline which may mask any immediate symptoms.
Step Four: Contact Your Insurance Company
After you’ve sought medical attention, contact your insurance company to report the accident to them.
Step Five: Obtain Damage Quotes for Vehicle
Chances are law enforcement officers will allow you to have your vehicle moved from the scene to a repair shop of your choice. Before the insurance adjuster comes to inspect the damages, you should obtain a quote from the mechanic to determine what repairs need to be made. You should also get an estimate of the value of your car before the damage by using resources like Kelley Blue Book.
Step Six: Contact Lender If Paying on Vehicle
Few things are more devastating than having your vehicle rendered useless while you are still making payments. If you are making payments, contact your lender immediately and let them know you were involved in an accident and that you have opened a claim with your insurance company.
Step Seven: Contact an Alabama Personal Injury Attorney
You need to make sure your rights are preserved after an accident. In addition to holding a negligent driver accountable for their actions, you need someone to serve as your advocate and make sure you are treated fairly by any insurance company or adjuster you are in contact with. While you may pay a premium for insurance, the company only makes money when they do not pay claims. Additionally, most insurance companies will do anything possible to get you to accept a settlement for less than you might otherwise be entitled to collect.
After a car accident, you could be suffering long-term injuries that could require ongoing medical attention, surgery, and lengthy time from work. This could be a significant financial hardship for you and your family.
Contact Warren and Simpson, PC, an experienced personal injury law firm if you have been struck by a reckless driver who caused you or a loved one serious injury. The sooner you do so, the less you will have to be concerned about since we can work with insurers and make sure you have an advocate on your side.