Reno News Car Accident

Latest news and what to do if you were in an accident in the Reno Nv area.

Proper steps one should take – what to do if your in a car accident

More often than not most people freeze after an accident. Sure, the shock, the anger, and the fact that your car is damaged, are a few of the first things which come to mind. But, knowing what to do if your in a car accident, and what steps to take immediately after, will ensure the best possible outcome. So, rather than simply run out of the car and fight with the other driver who was at fault, there are a few things you have to do when involved in an accident.

1. Make sure you make sure everyone is okay –
Of course the first thought which comes to mind is fear and shock, followed by “what happened to my car?” But, you have to leave these thoughts aside and tend to everyone in your auto. Make sure you are okay, passengers are, and if possible (without posing danger to yourself) make sure others in the vehicle which was involved in the wreck are okay as well.

2. Stay at the scene –
Never flee the scene. Whether or not you are at fault (of course if there is major injury when you have to go to the hospital this doesn’t apply) make sure you stay at the scene. If you leave, especially if another driver was injured, major damage ensued, or worst yet, someone dies, criminal sanctions might follow. So, do not leave until it is appropriate to do so, which is typically after the police arrive and a report is filed.

3. Call the police –
Once you have determined no major injuries have occurred, you need to call the police to file a report. Even if it is a small accident, if the other driver later tries to file a claim with their insurer, and tries to put blame on you, if there isn’t concrete evidence in the form of a police report, you might end up paying more than you bargained for. A police will check physical property, both vehicles, get an account from both drivers as well as possible witnesses, and will make a determination of who they believe to be at fault.

4. Exchange information –
Make sure you get all relevant information about the other driver. Their license, tag, car make and model, color, and any other insurance information you might need to give your insurer when filing a claim. Whether or not you were at fault, you are eventually going to call your insurer to file a claim if major damage occurred to your vehicle; so you will need all the information about the other driver in filing.

5. Seek out potential witnesses –
Witnesses who actually saw what happened can help bolster your case if you were not at fault. So if there was anyone at the scene, if the police gets a statement from them, you may also want to seek out information from that witness. Not only so they can help back up your claim of the accident and how it happened, but also to help in determining fault and the possible amount of work your insurer is going to cover, if you need major repair work to be completed on your car.

6. Call your insurer –
This is when you will file a claim. Once you have the police report number, the other driver’s information, and all relevant information about the accident required, you can call to file your claim. Here you will describe what happened, and inform your insurer of the damage; you might also be required to provide statements or an account of what happened. So make sure you are prepared with all information they are going to require.

7. Take pictures –
This is a good way to show your insurer the scene of the accident, your car, and possible damage that occurred. It can also help bolster your case in the event the accounts of how the accident occurred are conflicting. This allows the insurer to begin the claims process immediately as well, so you aren’t waiting too long for estimates or to have work done on your car if required.

8. Medical care –
If you do need medical care, medication, doctor visits, therapy visits, or other types of care, make sure you document everything. Keep records of all visits, payments made, and other information about frequency of visits and doctor costs. If it is eventually proven that your case prevails and you file a claim in court against the other driver who was at fault, these are costs you can be reimbursed for in the future.

9. Don’t discuss the accident –
Even if it is with family or those who were at the scene, don’t talk about it. You should only discuss it with the police if required to do so, your insurer as it pertains to the claim, and a lawyer if you have chosen to hire one. The more you talk about it, the more stories start to get crossed or facts start to get jumbled up. So, make sure you only discuss it with those you are legally obligated to, and only do so in instances where you have to discuss the accident in order to introduce new facts or other pertinent information about the case.

There are so many things that go through one’s mind after they are in an accident. And, even though it shouldn’t be the most important thing you consider, damage to your vehicle is often the major issue lingering over your head after an accident. But, if you are in an accident, you have to take the proper steps in order to ensure it is properly documented, and to ensure all essential information is filed with the police and with your insurance company, and your lawyer if you decide to hire one. After an accident, and after making sure everyone who was in the vehicle is safe and didn’t suffer a major injury in the accident, these are a few of the steps you should take. Not only to preserve evidence and the facts, but also to ensure your case is immediately placed in the legal system through the filed police report after the fact.

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