Car accidents can be traumatic physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. When you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident in Alabama, ensuring everyone is safe and your rights are protected is essential.
Whether in a minor fender bender or a severe car accident, you may be shaken up and disorientated afterward, so it’s a good idea to know ahead of time what you need to do in case of an accident.
To ensure you are prepared, we will tell you the essential things you must do if you are involved in a car accident in Alabama.
Crucial Steps To Take After A Car Accident in Alabama
Alabama records a car collision every 3 minutes and 55 seconds. Knowing what to do in the unfortunate circumstances of being in a car accident is crucial to ensure you and your rights are protected. Motor vehicle safety is critical to keep you and your family as safe as possible should you be involved in a car accident.
#1. Check to Determine Who Has Injuries
If you are in an accident, you should check yourself and your passengers for injuries and call for medical assistance. If anyone is severely injured, wait for emergency personnel to arrive and do not attempt to move them.
#2. Call 911
Whether it is a severe car accident or not, calling the police is essential; in some states, it is legally required. The officers will investigate, document the scene, and complete an accident report.
In some areas, the police don’t come out to minor car accidents, and there may even be an option to report the accident online. Whether you go down to the police department personally, report it online, or an officer comes to the scene, getting a copy of the official report to submit along with any insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits is crucial.
#3. Move Yourself and Your Vehicle Off the Road
If no one is seriously injured and your vehicle is movable, moving it to the side of the road is best to avoid impeding traffic. Make sure to keep your hazard lights, and set up reflective emergency triangles or road flares if you have them to make other drivers aware of the accident. However, if anyone is injured, leave the vehicle where it is.
Most people can be pretty shaken up after a car accident, and you may not think as clearly as usual, so be extra careful when stepping out onto busy roadways.
#4. Gather Pertinent Information
Almost everyone carries a cell phone these days, so if you have one, use it to take pictures of documents or use paper and pen to record the name, address, phone number, and driver’s license number of all parties involved in the accident. Pay attention to details such as ensuring that the driver’s name matches the car insurance and registration, and if not, be clear about the relationship between the vehicle’s owner and the driver.
Remember to include all the information on the vehicle, such as make, model, year, color, license plate, and vehicle identification number often found on the door.
If there are any witnesses, ask them if they are willing to share their contact information with you if you need more details about what they saw occur.
You never want to give your social security number or the coverage limits on your car insurance policy.
#5. Record Details About the Scene
Document as much about the car accident as possible using your cell phone camera, video or voice memo features, or paper and pen. Information you want to include is:
- Date and time of the accident
- Photograph of the entire scene
- Photo of the whole vehicle
- Close-up image of damages on both vehicles
- Street names and the directions both vehicles were going before and after the auto accident
- Position of the cars relative to the street should the accident need to be recreated
- Sketch a diagram of the accident scene if you can’t take a picture
- Record details using the voice memo app while details are fresh
If necessary, keep all details organized to help your adjuster process your claims and for your car accident attorney in Alabama.
#6. Don’t Have Roadside Arguments
Avoid arguing about responsibility with the other driver, especially if you believe they may be under the influence or aggressive.
#7. Call a Tow Truck if Necessary
If your car is seriously damaged, you may need to have it towed to a collision repair shop. You can use your roadside assistance membership if you have one, or sometimes the police call the tow truck company.
However, don’t assume that a tow truck will show up, and if one unexpectedly shows up at the accident site, ensure they get their credentials and verified contact information.
#8. Notify Your Insurance Company
You may be tempted to make a cash deal with the other party to avoid making an insurance claim; however, it could also leave you liable for other damages resulting from the accident.
Suppose the other person is at fault and doesn’t carry enough coverage to cover the damage to your vehicle. In that case, your insurance carrier will check your policy for additional coverage that could help. If you are not at fault, your insurance company may also offer a liability waiver so you won’t have to pay your deductible.
#9. Make Use of Virtual Tools
Some insurance companies offer virtual tools and mobile phone apps to help you with the claims process. Your insurance company will likely request much information about the car accident and may ask you to use a remote inspection app or tool on your smartphone. Your insurance company may also send a tow truck or arrange a rental can and roadside assistance via their app.
#10. Call Your Doctor
Even if you feel ok right after the accident, sometimes injuries become more apparent after a day or two. Spinal and head injuries can happen from a minor collision, so visit your doctor if you experience anything unusual or pain.
Most of the time, injuries resulting from a car accident are included in your car insurance claim, so it is crucial to document any physical symptoms you experience due to the accident.
#11. Stay Proactive
Remaining calm during the aftermath of a car accident is easier when you know what to do. Make sure you have your insurance company’s app on your phone and your number saved into your phone.
Keep your registration, proof of insurance, contact information, and a list of the most important things you need to do when involved in an accident in your glove box.
#12. Contact Your Personal Injury Attorney
Suppose you or someone you love is injured in a car accident in Alabama. In that case, you may be entitled to compensation to help alleviate the financial, mental, physical, and emotional stress, pain, and suffering. Contact an experienced Alabama personal injury attorney to help ensure you know Alabama car accident laws and that your rights are protected.
Brackin Law Firm Is Here To Help You With Your Car Accident Claim
Car accidents can significantly impact your life, taking an emotional, physical, and mental toll on you and your family.
At Brackin Law Firm, we are here to help if you or someone you love is injured in a car accident in Alabama. Our firm has over 35 years of experience representing Baldwin County families in car accident cases, divorce and family law, DUIs, and Criminal Defense and Estate Planning.
Contact us today for a consultation, and we will put our skills and experience to work for you to protect your rights!