Sooner or later it’s going to happen – most of us will be involved in an Arkansas Car Accident. Whether it’s a small fender bender in a parking lot or a serious Arkansas car accident on the freeway, it’s very likely that everyone will end up getting into some sort of car wreck while driving. While being in an Arkansas car accident can be a scary experience, it’s important to be aware of a few steps to ensure both your safety as well as ensure any insurance claims go smoothly. If you have suffered injuries as a result of an Arkansas Car Accident, call the Arkansas Injury Law Firm of Moffitt & Phillips for a free consultation today.
1. Stop and Assess Damage and Injuries of Arkansas Car Accident
Take a few minutes to examine yourself and any passengers for possible injuries as a result of the car wreck. A car accident can get your adrenaline pumping and diminish the sensation of pain, so look yourself over make sure there are no apparent injuries. Immediately call 9-1-1 and report the car accident before you get out of your car. It is vital to notify the police or other first responders as soon as possible so that they can respond to the accident scene.
2. If Possible, Move the Cars Involved Out of Traffic
So long as there are no serious physical injuries, attempt to move the cars out of the way to prevent further traffic dangers. If there is anyone involved in the Arkansas car accident that is injured, do not attempt to move them or the car in which they were traveling. Wait for the police or ambulance to arrive so that trained professionals can assess the situation.
3. Get Medical Attention Immediately, if Necessary
If you or passengers have sustained injuries as a result of an Arkansas car accident, get medical attention immediately. This is not only common sense, but it can impact the value of your claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Often, timing is of the essence, when it comes to injuries sustained in an auto accident because the quality and timeliness of care will have an impact on the long-term recovery of the injured person. If you fail to seek immediate treatment for the injuries sustained in a car wreck, you may not receive the maximum recovery from the at-fault driver’s insurance company or a jury due to the delay in seeking treatment for the injuries.
4. Get Insurance & License Information from Other Drivers
It is critical to get as much information from the other drivers involved as possible. Often, someone might say, “we can handle this outside of insurance” or “I will pay cash for the damages to your car.” That may be, but you never know who this person is or if you’ll have a difficult time dealing with them. Always be insistent on getting the at-fault driver’s insurance card and driver’s license information before you leave the scene. However, the best option is to always call the police to investigate and generate an accident report with all of the information. At that point, you can still agree to let the other individual pay for the damages without involving their insurance company.
5. Cooperate with Police
Make sure you give the police detailed information regarding the Arkansas car accident. If you are unsure of any of the details, tell the police that you are not sure about the details of that specific issue. Do not give a statement or tell the police anything that you are not positive about regarding the way the car accident happened.
6. Don’t Discuss Fault with Other Drivers
Except for the police, refrain from discussing “how the accident happened” or “who was at fault in the car accident.” This is best determined by the police investigation.
7. If Possible, Take Pictures of the Damage & Scene
These days, almost every cell phone is equipped with a camera or people carry their digital camera with them everywhere. Use it. Take pictures of the Arkansas car accident scene and all the damage you can see including damage to your car, other cars, and any other objects such as poles or signs that were hit. The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is also applicable to a car wreck. Many times there will be information contained in a picture of the car accident scene that is not in a police report or witness statement. Pictures can be very important to showing who was at-fault in a car accident and can potentially increase the value of to your injury claim.
8. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
As soon as possible, inform your insurance company of the Arkansas car accident. Opening a claim with your insurance company will allow them to begin their investigation of your claim. Additionally, you may be entitled to benefits under your insurance policy regardless of who was at-fault for the car wreck (e.g. no fault medical benefits).
9. Get a Copy of the Arkansas Car Accident Report
You should go to the local police station or state police office and get a copy of the car accident report. In some instances, you can request a copy of the incident report online. Once you obtain a copy of the car wreck report, read it thoroughly and check for any inaccuracies. If you do see something that seems wrong, let the police agency and your insurance company know of the inaccuracy.
10. Know the Compensation to which You are Entitled
Your insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurance company may not be exactly forthcoming with you in regards to what types of compensation you deserve. Keep in mind, the most common types of recoverable damage are property/automotive damage, medical expenses, lost income from time missed at work as well as future lost earnings due to any permanent or semi-permanent injuries sustained.
If you have sustained any serious injuries, and you are having trouble collecting what you think is a fair settlement, consider talking to an Arkansas personal injury attorney, such as Moffitt & Phillips, PLLC. Our office provides a free initial consultation that will give you an opportunity to explain your situation and find out if you would be better served by having a professional handle you claim.