What to Do If There Is an Accident?
Anyone who’s ever been in a fender bender or another minor car accident knows the feeling of panic that floods in after hearing the initial “crunch” of your car colliding with another. Once the panic recedes, you may think it’s entirely fine to drive off from the scene without taking any major action — but that’s not always a good idea.
While these accidents tend to display minor damage off the bat, there are still steps you should follow to protect yourself.
Pull Over to Safety
Immediately after the accident, pull over to the side of the road or out of traffic as best as you can and turn on your hazard lights. If the damage prevents you from moving your vehicle, turn on your hazards, and leave the car where it is.
Even if the accident is not your fault, do not leave the scene of an accident. Doing so is illegal under Tennessee law, meaning you can be charged with serious penalties if you drive off.
Call the Police
No matter how minor the damage is, it’s important to have a police report made of the accident as soon as possible. Tennessee law requires you to report accidents that involve more than $50 of damage.
Besides this, police officers can take testimony from you and the other driver so stories cannot be changed once everyone leaves the scene — this is particularly important if the accident was not your fault.
Once the police have been notified, take photos of the scene — your car, the other driver’s car, angles of impact, skid marks, etc. These will help prove who may have been at fault and be good evidence to have for future insurance claims or personal injury cases.
Take the name, address, and contact information of the other driver. If possible, take a photo of their insurance card so you have a clearer image of the information.
Speak to Your Insurance Company
Report the accident to your insurance company so they can begin working on your claim. However, be careful when it comes to settling claims and speaking to agents. If the other driver’s company tries to contact you, understand that you have no obligation to speak to them, and often shouldn’t. You also shouldn’t necessarily accept the settlement your agency gives you right off the bat — you may be entitled to further compensation.
Personal Injury Attorneys in TN
Huffman Mason, PLLC can provide the dynamic legal counsel in your personal injury case you deserve and fight aggressively for your right to compensation. Contact our team at Huffman Mason, PLLC by calling (901) 295-0100 or submitting an online form here.