Car Accident Checklist: What do I do?

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Adam Barlow Law, P.C. contact

Contact Adam Barlow Law, P.C.

Mesa, AZ

Practice Areas: Auto Accident, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death


Getting into an accident is a shocking event. The trauma of a collision happening, the concern for your health and loved ones, the loss of your transportation, etc. This is a checklist of considerations that will help you face that difficult time:

1. Health: Your health is always a first priority: Seek immediate medical attention. Car accidents can be very traumatic and startling events. The excitement and shock of the moment will often mask symptoms of a neck, back or other injury that will last much longer than the shock from the accident.

2. Do not admit fault: While you may be partially at fault, there may be other circumstances, drivers or conditions contributing to the harm caused or made more dangerous the accident than it otherwise would have been. Therefore, until the accident can be evaluated in it’s entirety, it is best to not admit any wrongdoing up front.

3. Witnesses: Write down names, addresses and phone numbers of all witnesses. It is essential to paint an accurate picture of the circumstances surrounding the incident. Your case will be more effective if you can best paint the picture of what happened during the accident.

4. Police: Call for the police and ask officers for an accident report. Both parties may suggest that you “take care of it yourselves." However, the story will all of the sudden change once the insurance companies are involved, or at a minimum, memories of the accident will begin to fade or change.

5. Try not to move the vehicles: Try not to move cars until police arrive, unless the vehicles impede traffic, create a dangerous situation, or you are required to by law.

6. Other driver information: Ask for other drivers’ names, addresses, and insurance information. Does the name on the insurance car match the name of the driver? If not, what is their relationship?

7. License plates: Write down all relevant license plate numbers.

8. Call your insurance company: Inform your insurance carrier. Even if you are not at fault, your insurance carrier will be interested in ensuring that the responsible insurance company cover the cost of your vehicle and necessary medical expenses. It is one of the most effective ways to ensure a quick insurance company response from the responsible party.

9. Take photos: Use your cell-phone camera (or other camera) to photograph injuries, damage, skid marks, and other relevant images.

10. Social Networking Sites: Facebook, My Space, etc., etc.  Make all of your social network media site ‘private’ and do no allow new ‘friends.’ It is wise to cease using these sites altogether until any dispute is resolved. A recent phenomena in the insurance and legal community is to use online postings regarding events just prior to or after the accident against you in subsequent proceedings. In an attempt to limit that exposure, it is better to control who might have access to those sites. Again, the most effective method is to take them down completely.

11. Contact Attorney Adam Barlow before you give any statements to the insurance company.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice or representation,
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