Car insurance companies are motivated by profit. They’re not particularly empathetic toward any one accident or accident victim.
That’s why consumers often find themselves in dispute with insurance adjusters following an accident.
Policyholders put too much trust in insurance companies and often accept incomplete compensation for their damages.
Below is a step-by-step guide that helps you get the best settlement outcome; this includes contacting and experienced car accident attorney.
1. Secure the Scene
Always stop, regardless of fault, if an accident occurs. Do not drive away. If possible, pull away from traffic to avoid other road dangers and secure the scene.
A hit-and-run accident in Colorado, even one only involving property damage, can lead to significant penalties including jail time, fines, and license suspension or revocation.
2. Call the Police
Once the scene is secure and emergencies have been addressed, call the police.
Drivers involved in minor accidents often skip this step, especially if the at-fault driver offers to pay out of pocket for damages.
Quick cash may seem appealing at the time, but certain injuries are not always apparent immediately following a car accident.
A police report is critical to your claim. This documentation helps you get complete compensation for injuries and property damage. If you claim injuries later on, for example, it may be difficult to hold the at-fault driver responsible.
3. Document the Scene
Generally, police do a good job documenting a crash scene, but if you can document the scene on your own, do it.
Document damage to your property, the area where the accident took place, skid marks, broken glass, injuries, and damage to other driver’s property.
4. Exchange Information
Here’s a list of important information you need to collect from others involved in the accident:
- Date of birth
- Phone number
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance provider
- Policy number
- Number of occupants in the other vehicle(s)
If possible, gather the contact information of police officers and witnesses on the scene. Police or witness testimonials can help insurance companies determine accident liability.
5. Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don’t think you’re injured, it’s important to get checked out by a professional who can clear you of hidden dangers like a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI).
More importantly, if you suffered an auto accident injury, a medical professional can provide you with documentation that proves the injury, medication needs, and any rehabilitation or subsequent medical attention.
Many times, a person realizes they’ve been hurt after the adrenaline wears off. Accident victims will often go to bed feeling fine. Then they wake up with soreness and aches that may be signs of more serious injuries that were undetected immediately after the accident.
Always seek medical attention after an auto accident. If you’re injured, it can also be helpful to keep a daily log of your activities, missed work days, and any expenses that may be relevant to your injury.
6. Report the Accident
All Colorado accidents must be reported immediately. However, there are a limited number of police officers, and when there are no serious injuries, public property damage, or suspicion of drug or alcohol use, police may or may not be available to come to the scene.
In the event law enforcement does not arrive at the scene, anyone involved in the accident will need to report the accident online within 60 days of the accident date.
If law enforcement was called to the scene, you do not need to file an online report.
7. Contact and Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Legal representation is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make after an auto accident injury. With effective representation, victims are more likely to recover comprehensive compensation.
At Norton Frickey P.C., our Colorado Springs-based attorneys work on a contingent-fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. This makes it easy for anyone to get the help they need after an accident.