Each day in Ohio, there are more than 750 accidents on the road, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Should you ever be involved in an accident, there are certain things you must do in order to be in accordance with the law and to help any injury claim you plan to file.
First, immediately after the accident, call 911 and tend to any medical emergencies. Then, as you’re able, follow these four steps.
Step One: Preserve Evidence
At the scene, you can begin to collect information and preserve evidence for your insurance claim. Some of the things to collect include:
- the name, license number, insurance information and contact information of the other driver;
- pictures or video of the scene to help you later recall details and to help support your car accident claim;
- witnesses’ contact information (if they are willing to provide it — you also can jot down any brief statements they’ve made); and
- a copy of the police report (ask how to obtain it from the responding officer).
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Step Two: Contact Your Insurance Company
You’ll need to contact your insurance company. Regardless of the extent of the damages or whose fault it was, both parties will need to contact their own insurance companies to report the accident.
Also inform the other driver’s insurance company of the accident if the other driver was at fault and you plan to file a claim. Be as brief and straightforward with the insurance company as you can. Avoid any admissions of fault because it could hurt your claim. Even if you think you were partly at fault, you don’t know all the facts yet, and you might not yet be thinking clearly after the accident.
Even innocent comments such as, “I’m so sorry,” could be misconstrued as inadvertent admissions of fault, so make sure you consult an attorney before going into detail with any insurance representatives.
Step Three: Consult an Attorney
If you were in a serious accident, a call to a local car accident attorney will be the next item on your agenda. Fender benders and accidents that don’t cause injury likely won’t require an attorney. However, victims of more serious collisions who sustain a lot of damages should take the time to discuss their options with a legal professional.
A lawyer will be able to help you determine fault, explain your rights and responsibilities, help you file any necessary paperwork, and help you work towards the best settlement possible.
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Step Four: Start Collecting Information
Start compiling all pertinent information. Keep every bill, receipt, photo, treatment information and notes you’ve taken that have anything to do with your accident and your injuries.
All of these items will be necessary to calculate your damages. Proof of lost wages, any out-of-pocket expenses you’ve accrued, gas receipts to and from your medical appointments – all of these things may be compensable, so keep all records and documentation in a file for safekeeping.
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If you are in need of lawyer in Ohio, feel free to call us at Bressman Law. We can discuss your case with you and determine what your next steps should be. Contact us today (614) 538-1116 for a free consultation.
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