- Remain calm and verify that everyone is okay.
The most crucial thing to do after an automobile accident is to first verify that everyone involved is safe.
Anyone who believes they may have sustained any kind of physical damage whatsoever from the accident should seek medical attention immediately. Note that many seemingly minor injuries or ailments may not indicate signs of pain or visibility until later, as most people undergo a state of shock and increased adrenaline after an accident.
Make sure to stay calm. Emotions often run high after an accident, and a strong temper could cause an altercation or alienate potential witnesses or other allies.
- Trade insurance and contact information with all involved parties.
To cover all your bases and fully arm your insurance company or any Tacoma personal injury attorneys you may need to hire, make sure to note the other person’s:
– Contact information
– Insurance Information
– License Plate Number
– Registration Information
The other person will need also this information from you. Oftentimes, the easiest way to do this is to take photos of one another’s driver’s license, registration, license plate, and insurance card.
Lastly, you should also collect the contact information for the owners of any non-automobile property involved in the collision.
- Identify possible witnesses and evidence.
Should you require a Tacoma personal injury attorney, witnesses will be crucial tools for your attorney in presenting your case. When seeking witnesses, prioritize those you find most credible. A person who appears well spoken and professional will make a much better witness than someone who seems unhinged or untrustworthy.
- Assess any vehicle or other property damage.
Make a detailed assessment of all damage—to your car, to anyone else’s car that may have been affected, and to any other property involved. Take note of any notable panels or other parts of your automobile that may have been affected, as well as those of the other party. If other property damage has occurred, take note of that as well.
Any personal injury attorney in Tacoma will tell you that photos and videos make the best damage evidence. However, don’t just stop at photos of your car and that of the other party. Make sure to photograph surroundings, tire skid marks, and any other contextual cues that might be relevant to your case.
- Contact lawyers, insurance, tow trucks, and/or the police.
If the damage to your car is significant, call a tow truck to take it to the nearest body shop. Regardless, notify your insurance immediately to file a claim.
If estimated property damages amount to over $1,000 or either party is injured, Washington state law requires that a collision record be filed. Information on this process can be found here.
Either way, it is highly advisable that you contact a Tacoma personal injury attorney immediately for legal advice.