Few people are really prepared for a car accident. True, you may take precautions such as wearing safety belts or driving defensively, but when a car crash happens most of us are left in some degree of shock.
In the confusion of the moment, many accident victims neglect to gather the important information; information they may need if they decide to file a claim for compensation after the accident. The Columbus car accident attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy recommend that you take these steps after a car accident:
- Call 911: Your health and safety, and the health and safety of the other drivers and passengers involved in the crash, are the most important things to consider immediately after the accident. Call 911 or the local emergency dispatch immediately after a car crash. The medical first responders will help anyone who was hurt in the accident. Also, the police officers that arrive on the scene will write a report about the accident, which is important when determining fault.
- Obtain Information:It is important to collect the necessary information from the other drivers involved in the car accident. You should be sure to collect information such as:
- Car insurance coverage- Insurance company name, policy number, and terms of coverage.
- Contact Information- Address, phone number, name and date of birth.
- Drivers license number- Record the license number, renewal date and, if applicable, any driving restrictions.
- Other information about cars involved- VIN, the make, model and year of the cars, license plate numbers and renewal dates, and the name of the registered owner.
- Record any witnesses’ contact information
- Police information: Make sure to record the officers’ names and badge numbers. Ask for a copy of the accident report as well as an account of their observations about the scene.
- Pictures: use a camera or camera phone to record the accident scene from as many angles as possible.
- Observations about the environment: Write down as much information as possible about the weather, time of day, position of traffic or street signs, and the conditions of the roads.
Car Accidents and Fault
The biggest factor that the police consider when determining fault is traffic law. The police will consider factors such as right-of-way, whether a safe following distance was maintained, and the speed limit when writing the accident report. This report is an official record of the police officers’ observations of the scene of the car accident.
If the police find that one driver is clearly at fault, they will include this information in their accident report. Occasionally the officers will need to conduct an investigation to determine fault after the accident. This investigation may include the examination of skid marks, the testimony of witnesses, and other evidence in order to determine fault.
When should you hire an Attorney?
If you have been in a car accident, then you may be considering hiring an attorney to represent you for your accident claim. An attorney is an important ally when you are seeking compensation for the costs of a car accident. There are several reasons to hire an attorney.
If you have been in a car accident before, then you may be familiar with the role of an insurance adjuster. The adjuster’s job is to assess the cost of the car accident, and make an offer of payment to cover these costs. However, it is also part of the insurance adjuster’s job to offer as little money as possible to pay for the accident. The amount of money the adjuster offers is often significantly less than the real cost of the car accident.
What is the true cost of a car accident? A car accident can affect many aspects of the lives of those involved. The most obvious effects are damages done to property and the injuries sustained by the people involved. However, there are also many other effects which not so immediately apparent.
Because of these “hidden costs,” It may not be possible to measure the true cost of a car crash until long after the accident. The injuries sustained in the car crash may make it hard to perform tasks at work. Also, these injuries may require more medical treatment than was initially anticipated. There may also be stress caused by continued medical attention and physical therapy. Personal relationships with family members may change and the quality of life of an accident victim could be reduced.
The insurance adjuster will usually try to get you to agree to their offer before any of these effects are felt. For this reason it is important to speak to an attorney after your car accident. An experienced car accident attorney is trained to negotiate with the adjuster and make sure the insurance company respects your rights.
The attorney will be able to draw on their knowledge and experience to determine whether the settlement is an accurate assessment which will cover the potential future costs, as well as those costs which are immediately apparent. Car accident attorneys are trained to negotiate with the adjuster to increase the settlement amount or, if necessary, take the case to trial to achieve a fair settlement.
If you have been involved in a car accident in the Columbus area, then call the Columbus car accident attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy Co., LPA. Our attorneys will vigorously defend your rights against big insurance companies who will pay you as little money as possible to protect their profits. Don’t let these big companies trample over your rights to protect their profits. The attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy draw on their vast knowledge and experience to ensure that you receive the settlement that you deserve. Call our Columbus car accident attorneys at 614-545-7075 to schedule your free consultation.