Car Accidents in Arizona
Arizona Department of Transportation annual crash reports show an average of nearly 30% of car accidents in this state result in injuries. Weather conditions such as snow or heavy rain can increase your likelihood of a wreck. Or maybe you’ve been hit at the peak time of year for accidents in Arizona. If you’ve been in an accident, there are certain steps you can take to better protect yourself and your interests:
1. Stop – Do not drive away from the scene of an accident, even if minor.
2. Remain Safe – Prevent further accidents and protect your safety by turning on your flashers and pulling to the side of the road if your vehicle interferes with traffic.
3. Call the Police – Even if there are no serious injuries, it is advised to call police. You may need a police report to file a claim with your insurance company, even if just for vehicle damage.
4. Explain Your Side – Explain to officers exactly what happened. Recount events to the best of your ability. If you aren’t sure of certain facts, say that. If asked if anyone in your vehicle is injured and you’re uncertain, it’s best to say you’re unsure rather than no. Keep in mind pain and injuries from vehicular accidents often present themselves hours or days afterwards.
5. Take Photos – Use your cell phone or camera to capture photos of vehicles and damage. Photos of the location, if you safely can get them, might help as well. If you have visible injuries, it is wise to take photos of those too.
6. Exchange Information – Get the name, address, telephone number, and insurance information of all persons involved in the accident. If police respond, they typically collect this information.
7. Get Witness Information – If there are witnesses, get information from them so you or your attorney can contact them in the future. Be sure to get a police report number from the responding officer as well. Keep in mind if the accident occurs on a state highway, you must request a report from state police.
8. Seek Medical Attention – Often, injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents are not immediately apparent. Most clients report onset of pain one or a few days after the accident. Unless you are absolutely certain you were not injured, seek medical attention at your local urgent care, emergency room, or with a trusted physician.
9. Keep A Paper Trail – Keep all accident-related documents on hand. We recommend creating a folder for easy access. Examples of items to include are your claim number, police reports, phone numbers of contacts, receipts for rental cars or other accident-related expenses, and other pertinent information.
10. Contact An Attorney – Perhaps most important after an accident is to contact and consult an attorney. Your attorney can protect your rights and advise you of valuable evidence, plus ideally help with treatment resources. Be sure advice you receive is from a licensed attorney – not an “intake specialist”.
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