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What to Do if you’re Involved in an Automobile Accident

December 15, 2015

1. Call for Medical Assistance

a. If anyone is injured immediately call 911, receiving treatment as soon as possible can help prevent further injury. If your vehicle is operable pull it off the road and to a safe area.

2. Notify the Police

a. In Wisconsin it is required by law that the police are notified, by an operator or occupant, of an automobile accident if property damage is in excess of $1,000.00 dollars.
b. Once the officers arrive on the scene they will likely ask you for a statement. Make sure that you are honest when discussing the details of accident. This information will be important when filing insurance claims for your automobile accident. Write down the investigating officer’s name and badge number in case your insurance agent or attorney needs to contact the officer.

3. Gather Crucial information

a. It is extremely important that you are able to get in touch with the adverse driver after you leave the scene. Write down their name, address, insurance information and phone number. Be sure to obtain all insurance information including the company, policy number and any insurance agent contact information.
b. Additionally, make sure you can adequately identify their vehicle (make, model, plate number). Once the police arrive they can aid you in gathering this information as well as include it in the police report.

4. Do not discuss fault

a. “Fault” is often a complex determination based on the facts and complicated laws. Leave that issue for the police to decide — or your attorney to dispute when the appropriate evidence has been gathered.

5. Document, document, document

a. This is one of the most critical components to help ensure an unfortunate automobile accident is handled in an expedient manner. I recommend taking photos on the scene of not only damage, but also the adverse driver’s documentation. This can help ensure that when the time comes to get your automobile fixed and your medical bills paid you can get in touch with the liable party.
b. Obtain names and contact information for any witnesses of the accident. Write down their account of what happened and make sure they agree to allow your attorney or insurance agent to contact them.

6. Document Medical Treatment

a. Keep records of any hospital visits, tests, prescriptions or other expenses that arise as a result of your auto accident. This information will be needed by your insurance company and attorney.

7. File an insurance Claim

a. Immediately report the car accident to your insurance company. Also provide the insurance company with information on the other driver. Immediately filing a claim will speed up the process of getting your car repaired and securing a rental vehicle, if necessary.

8. Finally, protect your rights

a. Insurance companies don’t always have your best interest in mind when handling your claim, and if key issues — like fault for the accident, or the extent of your injuries — are being disputed, it may be time to contact an experienced Wisconsin car accident attorney to make sure your legal rights are protected.

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