Life is often very frantic after a car accident, but it is very important to remain calm. Below is a list of the steps you should take if you were in a car accident in Tennessee.
First, bring your car to a stop, and put on your hazard lights if they are still functional.
Second, you want to check yourself and any passengers for any injuries. Look for any serious injuries, and when in doubt call for an ambulance.
Third, call 911 or your local police non-emergency number. You want to have a police report made that documents the accident. Accident reports establish who was driving, what insurance was covering the vehicle, and how the vehicles made impact.
Fourth, exchange insurance information with the other driver. You should also make note of their license plate number, and drivers license number when possible. This information should be included in the accident report, but the report will not be immediately available to you.
Fifth, take pictures or video of the vehicles and the accident scene. If there are any witnesses to the accident, be sure to ask them for their name and number so that they can be contacted at a later time.
Sixth, do not sign any insurance documents before consulting with a lawyer. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to settle claims cheaply and quickly right after the accident happens. They know that an accident can turn life upside down, and early on it is less likely the injured person has had time to consider any long term damages.
Recently we heard of two young parents who were horrificly injured in a car accident which left them in the ICU for weeks. Before they had even finished their medical treatment, the insurance company was calling them trying to settle their claims for less than two weeks of lost wages. The unfortunate reality was that those serious injuries had lifelong implications, and those two weeks of lost wages would have been less than a drop in the bucket.
If you've been injured in an accident, call our office at 901-523-2222. We know how to help.