Tag: Car Accident

What To Do After a Car Accident in Portland

What To Do After a Car Accident in Portland

On average, six million car accidents happen in the United States every year. These include fender-benders and smaller-scale collisions all the way up to totaled vehicles. While the number of cars on the road has decreased during the pandemic, people tend to drive while distracted more often and speed, so your odds may be a little greater of getting in a car accident. Oregon is an at-fault state, meaning that if you cause a car accident, you (and your insurance) are responsible for those damages.

The first few minutes after a car accident can be confusing and scary, and you may not know what needs to be done first. Never fear. Here is a list of the things you should do first after a car accident in Portland.

1. Safety First

If possible, pull your car over to a public, well-lit and safe place nearby. This way you won’t impede the flow of traffic and you and the other driver will be able to see each other clearly. If you have a choice, choose the more public option so that others may see the other driver just in case they decide to leave the scene. It’s important that you don’t leave the scene, especially if there are injuries or if there are damages to the vehicles and insurance information to gather.

Hopefully, your car is still drivable, but if not, take stock of whether it will be a road hazard. If you can push it to the side, you can move it even up onto a sidewalk. If not, turn your emergency hazard lights on to give warning to passing cars.

2. Secure Your Traveling Companions

Were you in your car with your pet, a child, another adult, or an elder? Assess whether they are injured first. If you have a child young enough to be in a car seat, don’t take them out of the seat just yet. They may have injuries you can’t see, and it would be best to have a first responder check them out.

However, you wouldn’t leave a pet or a child or an elder in a hot locked car when you run into a store, so if the accident is a minor collision, you can leave the engine running with the AC on, roll down the windows, or let them out of the car while you handle the accident details. But this is assuming there’s a safe place to do so. Make sure you’re situationally aware of the area so you can prevent further injuries and so the pets and people in your care don’t wander off.

3. Talk With the Other Driver

Again, it’s good to be situationally aware. Is the other person agitated? Is this a safe place to talk? They may be frightened or blame you for the accident, so it’s important to choose your words carefully and—above all—remain calm. Before you speak with them, secure any valuables on your person as well. For instance, make sure your purse or wallet is with you rather than in a car with an open window.

It may be appropriate to engage in small talk if you and the other driver need to call an ambulance or the police, but be sure you don’t make any admissions, blame the other person, or apologize. If a claim is filed and the other driver or other witnesses say they heard you say you’re sorry or that you’re at fault in some way, it could be a major headache for you down the road. Rather, the insurance companies will determine these things later.

4. Gathering Information

It’s important to gather the right facts right after a collision. Information you will need to gather from the other driver includes their name and contact information; their insurance company and policy number; their driver’s license and license plate numbers; the type, color, and model of their vehicle; and the time and location of the accident. Be prepared to give this information as well. You should also take pictures of the accident scene and record with audio or video while you ask witnesses what they saw, but make sure they stick to the facts.

Other information you can gather includes road conditions or weather, any injuries you might see, and anything else that contributed to the collision (a distraction on the road, such as a squirrel, cat, or a runaway basketball, for instance). If your insurance company has a mobile app, sometimes they will walk you through items like this so these details aren’t lost in the shuffle.

If you’re a prepared person, you may already have this app on your phone or mobile device, which will cut down on time spent figuring it out and setting it up. Your insurance provider’s app might be critical in this situation because not only can it help you with the accident details, but you may have access through it to roadside assistance or towing or even rental car options.

And of course, make sure to save all this information and details, including receipts, bills, and medical records so that if a claim is filed you will have it all on hand.

5. Contact Your Insurance Provider (And Maybe Us!)

You’ll want to start an auto insurance claim once all these other items are handled. You can expedite the claim process this way by being proactive. Your insurance agent may also have further questions you might have missed or will be able to point out things you are eligible for in your policy. Make sure you ask any questions if you’re not sure of the process or what you need to do, especially if there are any deadlines.

Hopefully, you are uninjured, but if you or someone you love is injured or killed in a car accident, the expert team at Warren Allen LLP has your back. If you find you need to file a personal injury claim, contact Warren Allen today.

Man taking photo of car accident damage evidence with woman on phone.

What Kind of Evidence Is Used in a Car Accident Case?

If you have been the victim of a car accident, it’s important to immediately gather as much evidence as possible. The more comprehensive your car accident evidence is, the greater chance you have of establishing the validity of your claim and receiving fair compensation. This will require documentation to support your claim. The more you have, the easier it is for your attorney to represent your interests with the insurance company.

If you have been in a car accident and are uncertain of what documentation you should obtain, below details what car accident evidence can best establish your case.

Contact Information of Witnesses

When you have been in an accident, you should collect the names and contact information of any witnesses, including passengers in all vehicles involved. An attorney will need this information to gather official statements from witnesses. This will help determine who is at fault.

It’s also best to call the police. Help may be needed to address any injuries or damage, but even in a minor accident, it’s beneficial to have an official police report. A police report at the time of the accident will further determine which driver is legally at fault.

Details from the Scene of the Accident

Accidents are scary and can be disorienting with the stress and trauma of the incident as well as any physical damage or injuries sustained. Even though it can be difficult to think of everything in the moment, it may be harder to remember important details later. In an effort to keep the facts straight, you should record as much evidence as possible from the scene of the accident. This includes taking photos of the accident and taking notes of what you remember and what was witnessed as soon as you can after the accident.

It’s also important to gather necessary information from any other drivers involved, including their names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, insurance information, and vehicle plate numbers. If it’s a company vehicle or they are driving for an employer, make sure to document the company name and contact information.

Photo or Video Documentation

Photographic evidence or videos will help with presenting a clear claim. Make sure to document any damage or injuries. Take pictures of the accident and any damage to your car. If you or anyone else in the car has suffered injuries as a result of the accident, make sure to take photos of these injuries. It will also help to keep a written record of these injuries and damages, corroborating the photos.

Records of Damage

A portion of fair compensation will include vehicle damage. In order for your attorney to determine what is fair compensation and to support the validity of your claim, keep all documents concerning vehicle damage. Keep copies of receipts for car repairs and rentals.

If you recently upgraded components of your car prior to the accident, provide copies of receipts detailing the work done and showing the date preceding the accident. This could include work on the engine or recently replacing the vehicle’s tires. This increases the value of your car at the time of the accident and reflects what compensation your attorney will fairly seek on your behalf.

Medical Records and Proof of Payment

If you have suffered an injury as a result of a car accident, it’s important to receive timely medical treatment. Not only is it critical to recovery, but it also proves the extent of your injuries and that nothing in the claim is falsified. Keep careful records of all treatment received as well as documents noting the nature and extent of your injuries. Make sure to also include all receipts for payments made. These records will document the medical expenses as well as the extent of your injury.

Once you have finished your treatment, request a complete history of these medical records. It’s important to request copies throughout the process, but once you have received treatment, you can obtain comprehensive records. These may include medical bills, diagnostic images, medications, and other applicable treatments or care.

Written Accounts

Additionally, keep written accounts of your injuries, experiences, and treatments. Who did you see? What was your treatment? What were you required to do post-visit to aid recovery? Were you required to pay anything? What was your experience like? Journaling about the events of the accident, your experiences, and any damage or injuries will help you keep a clear timeline and record of events. It will aid in building your case, as well as prevent you from forgetting important details.

Car accident victims may experience “pain and suffering.” This includes physical injury as well as mental pain and suffering. This is an important component of a personal injury claim and calculates in the claim settlement. Keeping a written journal of things such as loss of sleep or appetite, depression, difficulty in returning to work, or any related pain and suffering will help determine fair compensation and a better resolution.

Proof of Lost Wages

If a car accident has resulted in missing days of work, then you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and income. Gather pay stubs, W-2s, and any other information that shows missed days of work and what compensation you typically receive as part of your car accident evidence.

Proof of Burden

The burden of proof lies with the person seeking damages. If you are the injured party, then you must prove the other driver was at fault. All of the preceding evidence will help prove the validity of your claim.

After experiencing a car accident, an attorney will guide you in filing a claim and ensuring you have all the proper documentation. They will defend your interests with the insurance company, as well as present your case in court if a desirable settlement is not reached.

The experts at Warren Allen LLP offer sound legal advice and representation to help you receive the best resolution possible. Contact our firm today and learn what your options are. We are here to help you receive fair compensation so you can focus on recovery.

 

Man and woman exchanging information after car accident.

You’ve Been in a Car Accident: Now What?

Ever heard the saying, “Hope for the best, expect the worst”? That’s the approach you have to take when it comes to car accidents. You need to prepare for the worst because the unexpected can certainly happen.

We never want to imagine ourselves or our loved ones in a car accident. But if we prepare ahead of time, we’ll have a better sense of what to expect if it ever occurs. That makes dealing with what comes next a little easier.

Warren Allen LLP has worked with many clients who have been involved in car accidents. Here’s what you need to know on-scene and what to expect afterward.

Check If Anyone Is Injured

The first thing you want to do if you’ve been involved in a car accident is to make sure everyone is okay. Check those in the car with you and any other people involved in the crash. If someone appears injured and you’re able to call for help, seek medical attention. If the situation is an emergency, call 911 right away.

Even if you don’t feel injured and decline medical attention at the time of the accident, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor afterward. Some injuries are not immediately apparent, and some people don’t feel pain until a day or two after the accident. That’s why it’s important to get checked out on-site or to schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you’re able.

Move Your Car to a Safe Place

You should also make sure that if you’re in harm’s way and you’re able to move your vehicle, you do so. Always make sure you’re in the safest place possible and use your hazard lights to alert other drivers to the presence of your car. If you’re unsure whether you should move your car, ask the dispatcher for advice. Which leads us to the next step.

Call the Police

Once you have checked for injuries and called for help if necessary, you should contact the police. You will need to file a police report to start an insurance claim and to establish who is at fault for the accident.

Once an officer arrives, they will ask questions to determine what happened. Answer them to the best of your ability. If you’re unsure of the answer, it’s okay to tell the officer that.

Try to avoid making assumptions about what may have happened. Provide what details you remember, and be sure to inform the officer of any statements provided by other people that you believe to be untrue.

Also, remember to never assume responsibility for the accident on-scene. Even if you believe the accident to be your fault, stick with the facts and avoid taking the blame until the accident can be properly investigated.

Take Photos

It may take the responding officer some time to arrive. But there are things you can do while you’re waiting.

First, take photos of your car and any other cars involved in the accident. Documenting the scene may help provide evidence to bolster your claim if a dispute arises later.

You may also want to jot down a few notes about what happened in case you’re asked to recall something about the accident later on. You should also take photos of any visible injuries you have as a result of the accident.

Exchange Information

Once the officer arrives on the scene, they should collect insurance and ID information from everyone involved and help facilitate its exchange. However, you can also gather this information yourself as you’re waiting for the officer to arrive.

If you collect this information yourself, be sure to ask for the names and contact information of all the drivers and passengers involved in the accident, including driver’s license numbers. Ask for their insurance companies and policy numbers and jot down information about the cars involved, such as make, year, and model. Also, make note of the license plate numbers.

If there are any witnesses on the scene, be sure to get their contact information as well. The responding officer should provide you with a copy of the police report with the officer’s name and badge number on it, but if not, jot it down. Finally, make note of the accident location with the exact address if you have it.

Contact Your Insurance Agent

You should contact your insurance agent to file a claim as soon as possible, but you’ll want to complete the other steps first because your insurance agent will need this information to process the claim. For instance, your agent will likely ask you for the police report number and for the insurance information of the other people involved in the accident.

Your insurance agent will then go over the claims process. For example, if you require medical attention, your insurance agent will let you know if your medical expenses are included in your coverage. Your agent will also inform you of any deductible you need to pay or any other out-of-pocket expenses for which you’re responsible.

If your car is damaged and needs to be towed, your insurance agent should be able to contact a tow company for you. Your insurance agent will also have a list of repair shops for you to choose from for your repair work. And if you need a rental car, your insurance agent can make a reservation for you.

Keep a Record of Receipts

Be sure to keep a record of all receipts for expenses made as a result of the accident. For instance, if you need to take a ride share service to the rental car company, be sure to retain that receipt.

Keep a record of all expenses you incur related to the accident. Your insurance company may reimburse you for them, which is why it’s important you keep a detailed record.

Contact an Attorney

Hopefully, the above steps are the only ones you’ll need to complete. However, sometimes disputes arise over who is responsible for the car accident, and you’ll need to obtain legal representation. Or you may have suffered serious injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, and you will need to retain a personal injury lawyer.

If either of these situations occurs, you’ll want to have an advocate on your side to help you navigate them. That’s where Warren Allen can help. We can provide advice, help you resolve disputes, and ensure you get the compensation you’re entitled to receive.

A car accident is a terrible thing to experience, but we want to make what follows go as smoothly as possible. That’s why we work to get you the best resolution we can.

 

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