Knowing what to do (and what not to do) after a car accident can make all the difference. Here are some of the steps you should take following a car accident in Washington.
What Should I Do if I Have Been Involved in a Car Accident?
While every car accident is different, here are a few general steps you should take.
- Get medical help right away – even if you don’t feel injured.
- Evaluate the scene and call 911 if anyone else is injured or if the vehicles are in a dangerous area (such as the middle of a busy highway).
- Call the police and obtain a copy of the police report.
- Take photos and videos of the accident scene and do not move your car until the police arrive.
- Let the police officer know if you are injured, even if your injuries appear to be minor.
- Get the name and phone number of any witnesses while you wait for the police to arrive.
- Get insurance information from the other driver and submit a claim.
- Be careful when speaking to the at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster as they are often not on your side.
- Avoid signing anything from the other insurance company without asking your attorney.
- Avoid making statements to the other driver about the accident, as they may be used to show you are at fault.
- Consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
When Is It Necessary to Call the Police After a Car Accident?
In Washington, law enforcement may or may not show up at the scene of an accident where there were minor damages and no injuries, but it may be in your best interest to call the police anyway, so you can demonstrate that at least you tried to file a report. In more serious accidents, a police report can provide clear answers as to who was at fault and what caused the accident, making it an important piece of evidence for the investigation.
What Should I Do if the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Is Asking for a Statement or Wants Me to Sign Something?
Remember that the other driver’s insurance company is likely looking for anything they can use to reduce your compensation or deny it altogether. Be careful with the information you choose to share with them. It is always best to let a personal injury attorney handle the claim process and phone calls on your behalf.
A car accident attorney can help you maximize your chances of receiving compensation after a car accident while relieving you from the burden of dealing with paperwork and insurance phone calls. This means you can focus on recovering and have peace of mind knowing your case is in the hands of a professional. If you have been hurt in a car accident, contact Church & Page PLLC at (509) 638-1414.