Automobile accidents happen when we least expect it. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are nearly 10 million automobile accidents each year, from minor fender benders to fatal crashes. While it is impossible to predict when or where an accident will take place, knowing what to do in the event of a crash can help save lives, reduce injuries, and also make the claims process simpler easier. Accidents can be filled with adrenaline and confusion. Drivers should remember the necessary steps after an accident to help protect everyone involved.
Knowing the steps after an accident will prepare the parties to an accident. With this in mind, the experienced Denver personal injury lawyers at Bowman & Chamberlain, LLC, would like to offer a simple overview of the steps to take following an accident:
Pull Over After an Accident
Parties to an accident should absolutely never drive away from the scene, even even it seems relatively minor. If vehicles are in a dangerous position, the parties should pull them over to the side of the road to avoid oncoming traffic. Once settled, the parties should turn their hazard lights on and set up emergency cones or triangles so as to notify other drivers. The parties should not move their vehicles unless they interfere with traffic. Nor should they exit their vehicle until it is safe to do so.
Call the Police
It is against the law to not report an accident that results in injuries. Even if the accident is minor and there are no serious injuries, it is a good idea to call the police. The officer will merely file an incident report, which functions as an information exchange. If the accident is more serious, the officer will create an accident report to assist the insurance process and establish legal liability. A police report may be necessary to deal with property damage. Even if the other driver pleads not to phone the police, it may necessary simply because the other driver may change stories.
When the police arrive, the parties should tell the officer exactly what happened to the best of their ability. Drivers should never speculate about the causes of the accident or misstate the facts. If asked about injuries, it is okay for the parties to inform the officer they are not sure. Often, injuries become apparent hours, even days, after a collision.
If the parties are able to do so, they should take pictures of the scene of the accident. If there are any visible injuries, photographs should be taken of them as well. In doing so, it is important not to interfere with the on-going police investigation. If it is impossible to take photographs at the scene of the accident, the parties should take them as soon as possible after the accident.
Exchange Info and Report the Accident
Regardless of whether the police report to the scene, the parties should obtain the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all persons involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, the parties should get information from them as well. In the event the case proceeds into litigation, witness information will be vital for both parties.
While automobile insurance policies do not make for exciting reading, it is important for drivers to understand their coverage. After undergoing the aforementioned steps, the parties should exchange insurance information with other parties involved. They should be sure to give the name of their insurance company and policy number. Subsequently, the respective insurance companies should be notified of the accident immediately. Many policies require immediate reporting and full cooperation. It is important to find out whether a party’s insurance policy has Medical Payments Coverage and Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist Coverage.
Seek Prompt Medical Attention
Often, injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are not immediately apparent. As personal injury attorneys, in fact, we see clients all the time who reported feeling pain several days following an auto accident. Unless you are absolutely certain that you are not injured, you should seek medical attention at your local emergency room or by seeing your primary care physician. Even in accidents involving minor impact, you can sustain serious or permanent injuries to your body.
Contact our Denver Personal Injury Lawyers
The most important thing you should do following a motor vehicle collision is to consult experienced Denver personal injury lawyers. Our Denver personal injury lawyers can protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not destroyed. Oftentimes, insurance adjusters will attempt to take statements immediately after an accident. It is important you receive legal advice before speaking with the insurance company because what you say during your statement will be used against you later in the case. Your attorney can advise you on issues ranging from compensation to treatment and property damage. Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means there will be no legal fee unless you recover compensation for your injuries.
If you were involved in an auto accident, contact the experienced Denver personal injury lawyers at Bowman Law, LLC, today at 720.863.6904 or email us for your free consultation. Our lawyers handle a wide range of personal injury cases, including Motor Vehicle Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Slip & Fall Accidents, and Dog Bites & Attacks. We service Arvada, Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Commerce City, Lakewood, Littleton, Thornton, Westminster, Wheat Ridge, and other parts of metropolitan Denver, Colorado.
Owner and Managing Attorney
Jerry Bowman, J.D., M.A., Owner and managing attorney of Bowman Law LLC, takes his responsibility to the legal profession seriously and dedicates his time and effort to providing quality and competent legal representation to clients in Denver and throughout all of Colorado. He holds an MA in Political Science from Wayne State University and earned his law degree in two and a half years from Michigan State University College of Law.