Have you recently become injured in a car accident? The experience in itself is scary. Being injured and not knowing what to do is even scarier. Moreover, the insurance companies are not always on your side. Although they may issue concern to you as their customer, their main concern is maintaining a healthy bottom-line… which most likely translates to lowball payout offers and mediocre practitioner care coverage. At Craig P. Kenny and Associates, we know the auto accident game all too well. We want our clients to receive the best possible settlement; therefore, we’ve composed a best practice guide for steps to take immediately upon becoming a party to a motor vehicle accident.
STAY CALM, STAY PUT
If you are involved in a car accident or collision in Nevada, you must act responsibly and in accordance with State law. Whether you are at-fault or fall victim to an auto accident, it is imperative that you do not leave the scene. Leaving an accident scene can result in having your driving privileges revoked or your license suspended.
Upon coming to a complete stop, you should take a moment to assess the situation, and remember to remain calm. If you are injured, try to move as little as possible until an ambulance arrives. Remember to document every injury, both mental and physical, and if possible, ask the bystanders to take photograph documentation of the accident to the best of their ability, and to get as many names and phone numbers from other witnesses as they may be called to testify at a later date. Be aware of the traffic passing by, your surroundings, and any other potential dangers, such as smoke or fire.
In the event the other party is injured, you should do your best to provide immediate assistance to other motorists, passengers or pedestrians that may have been injured in the accident. Heed caution when attempting to move an injured person; if possible, wait for an ambulance to arrive. Notify 911 and call for medical assistance as soon as possible. You should also ensure the local police agency, sheriff’s department, or highway patrol is notified.
The State of Nevada requires you provide certain information to the other parties involved in a motor vehicle accident. Likewise, other parties involved in the accident must share similar information with you. The standard information to exchange in the aftermath of an accident includes:
- Name, address and contact details.
- Driver license number and issuing state.
- License plate state and number of the vehicles involved.
- Auto insurance information for the motorists involved.
- Try to exchange as little information as possible to the other parties involved in regards to your mental and physical wellbeing as this may be used against you later.
HIRE AN ATTORNEY
Your first thought may be to contact your auto insurance company to report a claim. Although you would be correct in thinking this, you want to be sure to provide details pertaining to the damages to your vehicle, ONLY. Do not provide information regarding your physical wellbeing or the wellbeing of any of the parties involved. Everything you say will be documented, and will most certainly be used in evaluating a settlement amount.
Oftentimes, individuals elect to represent themselves and settle for the first offer their insurance company provides them. As we mentioned before, insurance companies are most concerned with maintaining their bottom line, so without proper guidance and counsel, the initial offer made by the insurance companies will almost always be less than what you are entitled to.
At Craig P. Kenny and Associates, we fight hard to get you the best possible settlement. We understand that accidents are stressful, so we work for you on contingency. We don’t get paid unless you do nor do we ever make more money than you for your settlement!