Each year, thousands of people are involved in motor vehicle accidents. The scene of the accident can be a very confusing, frustrating, and sometimes frightening place. However, what you do immediately after the accident is very important for your case. For this reason, some Morris Bart personal injury attorneys in New Orleans have gathered a few tips to make sure that your insurance claim goes as smoothly as possible:
1) Plan Ahead! Always make sure your glove compartment contains not only your insurance card, but a pen and paper to take notes at the scene of an accident. If possible, it is always a good idea to have a disposable camera handy or a camera on your phone.
2) Safety First! Make sure that you put your hazard lights on and move to the side of the road if you are in traffic. Also, check to make sure if anyone is seriously injured and call for emergency services.
3) Call the police. Even if you don’t feel hurt at first or the damage appears minor, you need the police to come out in order to document where the accident, who the parties are, and what happened. This is critical if you are going to make an insurance claim.
4) Exchange information with the other driver. Sometimes, the police officer will tell you that the information you need is on the report, but that may not be ready for several weeks. Make sure that you take down the following:
a. Name of the driver, their address (if possible) and telephone number.
b. The name of the driver’s insurance company, including the policy number
c. All information on the vehicle that hit you including the license plate number, the license plate state, as well as the color, year (if possible), make and model of the vehicle.
5) Independent witnesses (people that saw the accident, but were not in a vehicle involved) are also very important to your case. If there are any passengers or witnesses that stop, get their names and contact information, as well.
6) If you have a camera handy, or one on your phone, take photographs of the accident scene, the damage to your vehicle, AND the damage to the other vehicle.
7) If you have an attorney, contact them with all of this information. They will be able to answer your questions, help you navigate the insurance claims process, and make sure you get a fair value for your case. It is very important that you speak with your attorney before you talk to the insurance company.
We hope that you never have to go through a motor vehicle accident, but if you do these tips can help the process run more smoothly and improve your results.
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