Car accidents are common in Montana. Many people are at a loss of what to do when they are in the unfortunate position of being in a car accident. One of the problems people in car accidents face is that there is no set “checklist” of what to do and say after an accident. The tips below will help you learn more about what you should and shouldn’t do when you have been in an accident.
1. Get the other driver’s information
Montana is a “fault” auto insurance state when it comes to financial responsibility for damages caused by a car accident. This means that the person who is at-fault for an accident is legally responsible for the financial consequences. You should always ask for the other driver’s contact information and insurance information so you or your attorney can begin speaking with them as soon as possible.
2. Gather witness information/take pictures
Look around to see who has stopped at the accident or who might be walking by. If you are medically able to, ask if people around witnessed the accident and get their contact information. Their testimony is valuable to your cause and proving the fault of the other driver. Then, you can provide this information to your attorney later on. This also holds true for pictures. Evidence of the events as close to the time when the accident occurred can be very helpful in the future.
3. Call the police
Even if the accident seems minor, contact the police department. Insist on calling the police even if the other driver exchanges information with you and agrees to turn the accident into their insurance. An accident report can provide you with a lot of information about how the accident happened and who was at fault.
4. Do not say you aren’t hurt!
Car accident victims often go into shock mode as adrenaline is released into their system. Many people do not feel pain immediately after an accident. The adrenaline often hides the signs and symptoms of injury and pain does not begin to appear until hours or even days after the accident. If the other driver was at fault and you pursue a claim against that driver, your initial statement that you aren’t hurt could come back to haunt you later down the road.
5. Get medical attention
Even if you feel that your injuries may be minor, you should immediately visit a medical provider to receive further inspection. Adrenaline can mask your injuries and a medical provider can help evaluate the true extent of injuries. Waiting until you “feel better” can help the other driver discredit you. The most important thing after an accident is taking care of yourself.
6. Report the accident to your insurance company
While it is important to notify your insurance company that you’ve been in an accident, you should decline to provide a recorded or written statement without the representation of an attorney.
7. Contact an attorney
Most attorneys today have specialties. Edmiston & Colton Law Firm was founded for the purpose of helping clients with personal injuries. They have had exceptional success as auto-accident attorneys and have the in-depth knowledge related to your case. For more information, visit www.yellowstonelaw.com or call (406) 259-9986.
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