1. Call the Police.
It is important to have the police prepare a report, document the scene, issue citations, and collect evidence. If you are injured, be sure to tell the police. If you are unsure whether you are injured, do NOT tell the police that you are uninjured since injuries often may not be apparent until several hours, or even days, after the wreck.
2. Get the other driver’s insurance information.
Get the name of the insurance company, the name and phone number of the agent, the policy number, and the dates when the insurance coverage is in effect. Do NOT call the other driver’s insurance company before you talk to a lawyer!
3. Take photos of the damage to the cars.
Take as many photos as possible on your cell phone, from several angles. Be sure to take a photo of the other driver’s license plate! Take photos of the damage to your car too, this is especially important if your car is being towed away. Download these photos to your computer as soon as possible for safe keeping, in case something happens to your phone.
4. Get the complete contact information for all witnesses.
Get their complete names, home addresses, email addresses, work, home, and cell phone numbers. Get their business cards, if possible. Do NOT rely on the police to get this information for you or rely on the witnesses to contact you later with this information. It is also helpful to find out what each witness saw or where they were and make a note of that.
5. Write down as much detail as possible about how the wreck happened.
While you are at the scene waiting for the police to arrive, or when you get home, write down as much as you remember about how the wreck occurred, and how you are feeling.
6. Call your insurance company.
Call YOUR insurance company and report that you were in a wreck. Ask them if you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. If the other driver did not have insurance, ask if you have “uninsured motorist” coverage. If they want to take your statement, tell them that you would like to wait a few days, until you are feeling better. Be sure to talk to a lawyer before you give a statement. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES talk to the insurance company for the other driver. Regardless of what they tell you, you have NO obligation to talk to them and it will only hurt your case if you do.
7. See your family doctor as soon as possible.
If you are seriously hurt, go to the emergency room via ambulance. If you are not seriously hurt, go to your family doctor within 24 hours, 48 hours at the very latest. It is important to have your doctor examine you thoroughly to check you for injuries. A chiropractor, physical therapist, or massage therapist is not a good substitute for an M.D. for purposes of determining whether you are injured or for documenting your injuries for purposes of your case.
8. Call Nelson Boyd at (206) 971-7601.
We have over 65 years of legal experience representing people who have been injured, fighting insurance companies, and obtaining justice for our clients. We understand what you are going through and we can help you.