Hundreds of auto accidents occur on Southern Nevada’s roadways each week, and the number of accidents increases during warm-weather months. A car crash can turn your life upside down, so knowing how to respond after an accident is vital. Auto insurance companies aren’t always able to provide the help and support needed in the aftermath of a crash. Because of this, there are certain things that an individual should do when an auto accident occurs to assist in potential claims moving forward.
1. Call the police
Call the police immediately. This is especially true if liability (question as to who is at fault) is in dispute and no witnesses are present. Be advised, if the accident occurs on surface streets, it may take the police a long time to arrive. This is especially true if the accident is not severe, or if an ambulance is not needed.
2. Exchange info with other driver(s)
While waiting for police to arrive, attempt to exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident.
If police are not called or you decide to not wait for them to arrive, do not leave the accident scene without first obtaining photographs of the other driver’s:
Auto insurance information
Phone number if they will provide it
What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?
Uninsured drivers are more common on Nevada’s roadways than you might think. If you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured driver or a driver who doesn’t have their insurance card with them, call the police immediately. In the event of injury, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can be hugely beneficial. Review your insurance policy to see if it includes this coverage.
3. Take Pictures
In addition to exchanging information with the other driver, it’s always a good idea to take pictures to help document the accident itself. Gather pictures of the damage to both your vehicle and the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident. Take pictures of the accident scene in general to allow for a better understanding of how the accident occurred. Take pictures of the other drivers’ license plates, and if you’re able, take a picture of the other drivers’ VIN number (typically located on the driver side windshield). The more documentation you have, the better.
4. Call a Personal injury lawyer
Nick Pomponio of Pomponio Personal Injury Law recommends that people call a lawyer at the accident scene, as they may be able to provide immediate guidance. Following an accident, it’s easy to panic, so third-party guidance can be invaluable in those early moments. If calling at the scene is not an option, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Each day that goes by without proper representation means that your potential case could suffer.
“There is no downside in contacting my office, as there are no fees for a consultation,” Pomponio said. “We will assist in getting your vehicle repaired and get you the medical treatment that is needed, even if you don’t have health insurance. All we want you to worry about is feeling better. We’ll handle the rest.”
Get the representation you deserve
Even if you are unsure who is at fault or have been told by another law firm that you do not have a case, seek a second opinion. “It can’t hurt for us to take a look at the facts of loss and let you know what options you may have,” Pomponio said. “Some law firms only want to take the ‘easy’ cases and don’t want to put in the work needed for a more difficult case.” If you think your case falls under the “more difficult” category, you may be surprised at the resources you still have available to you. Don’t assume before speaking with a professional.
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