In 2014 alone, there were over 51,000 motor vehicle crashes reported in the state of Oregon. Because of the frequency of these collisions, knowing what steps to take after a car accident is imperative for anyone who drives. Paul Galm, an experienced car accident attorney in Beaverton, offers this car accident checklist to help you protect yourself in the event of a crash, even it’s a minor one.
Even if no one appears to be injured, it’s important to pull over, turn on your hazard lights, and call 911. While it’s not illegal to simply exchange information and move on, by including a neutral third party and requesting a police report, you can prevent any potential problems.
Exchange Car Insurance Information
Speaking of insurance companies, be sure to exchange car insurance information with the other driver, even if there appears to be little or no damage.
Exchange Information with Any Witnesses
If anyone witnessed the accident, you or the investigating officer should get their names and contact information in case they are needed to substantiate your claim.
Because many cell phones have camera capabilities, it’s important to take photographic documentation of the accident. Not only does it show the damage, but it also offers insight into the conditions that might have contributed to the accident.
Seek Medical Treatment if Needed
Many people feel OK after an accident, but end up needing medical attention later. Even if you don’t need an ambulance, you should seek medical attention if you have even minor injuries. If you wait more than 72 hours after the accident, your claim might not be accepted.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Be sure to report the accident to your insurance company and the insurance company of the other involved party. While the other party is likely to report the crash to their insurance company, if it isn’t reported, problems can arise that could prevent you from receiving your benefits.
If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a car accident, contact Paul Galm today for a free consultation.