Finding yourself in a car crash in Seattle is no time to be caught off guard. The stress of the situation and possible injuries may leave you feeling at your most vulnerable, but this is a moment that you have to be at your strongest. The slightest mistake could cost money, your reputation, and even your freedom, so learn exactly what to do before the unthinkable does happen.
Your Chances of Getting In An Accident Rise Every Day
The geography of the Seattle area contributes to increasingly more congested roads every day, especially with more and more drivers entering the roadways. The I-5 alone can be a driver’s worst nightmare with traffic jams extending a reasonable commute to an hour-long drive or more. With that increased volume of vehicles, there’s also a rising chance of an auto accident.
When that accident does happen, each driver will find himself or herself at the mercy of the insurance companies. The Hornbuckle Firm warns that insurance companies are out to protect their own interests, even if that means paying out less than is deserved in any situation. They may also deny a claim altogether.
For this reason, it’s recommended that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible, following any car crash.
Know What to Do After a Car Accident
When in an auto accident, you may feel your worst, but this is no time to lay down and wait for the professionals to do their jobs. To the contrary, there’s much to be done. First, your duty is to assess the situation for yourself, so you have a clear understanding of the situation apart from the interpretations offered by police, insurance investigators, and other parties involved in the accident.
As you examine the scene, determine if anyone is injured and, if so, call for emergency services. A phone call to police may also be necessary, depending on the severity of the accident. If police haven’t been called, it will still benefit you to go to the police station and file a report on your own. By doing this, you will have documentation to provide to your insurance company.
As soon as possible, move vehicles out of the way of traffic and set up flares to caution oncoming traffic.
Gathering as much documentation as possible is the key to protecting yourself against insurance companies and in the event of litigation. Pictures of the scene are advised, as are photos of the other drivers’ insurance cards.
Next, it is important to contact your insurance company and inform them about your traffic accident. It’s advised that you answer all questions thoroughly and honestly, because anything that might later seem like a deception on your part might be used as grounds for denying the claim.
Evaluate the damages. This means getting professional estimates on property damage and vehicle damage, but it also includes generating documentation on injuries. A comprehensive list of injuries, including treatments and, if applicable, ongoing needs for medication and long-term rehabilitation should all be documented.
Now is the time that the early settlement offers will come. It’s also a good time to consult with an attorney, as those offers may not be given with your best interests in mind. Getting the advice of an accident lawyer before signing off on any offer is the best thing you can do for yourself.