Auto Accident Checklist: If You Are Facing a Car Accident

Categories: Auto Accident

Auto Accident Checklist

Experiencing a car accident can be overwhelming and frightening, especially if you’re unsure of what steps to take immediately afterward. In Washington State, specific laws and procedures can impact how you handle the situation. Being prepared and knowing exactly what to do can help protect your rights, ensure your safety, and make the process smoother.

It is vital that you ensure everyone’s safety, gather essential information, and seek legal and medical advice promptly. These actionable steps will help you handle the aftermath of an accident effectively. Remember to stay calm, stay focused, and contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Auto Accident Checklist After a Washington Crash

This comprehensive car accident checklist can guide you through the immediate actions you need to take following an auto accident in Washington State.

Ensure Safety

Immediately check yourself and others for injuries. If anyone needs medical assistance, call 911 right away. If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road to avoid blocking traffic and preventing further accidents. Activate your vehicle’s hazard lights to alert other drivers of the accident, especially on busy roads like I-5 or Highway 99.

Call 911

Report the accident as required by Washington State law, which mandates reporting any accident that results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000. If anyone is injured, request medical assistance immediately and have even minor injuries checked by a professional.

Gathering Essential Information

Be sure to exchange names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance details with all involved parties. Note each vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number, and write down each driver’s license number to verify identities later. Ask witnesses for their names and contact information; their third-party accounts can be valuable for your case.

Safety Measures

Stay at the scene until the police allow you to leave, as prematurely leaving can result in criminal charges under Washington law. If possible, set up warning triangles or flares around the accident scene to alert oncoming traffic and prevent further accidents, especially on highways and busy streets.

Documenting the Scene

Use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene, all vehicles involved, any visible damage, road conditions, traffic signs, and any injuries. These photos can serve as crucial evidence. Additionally, write down important information such as the exact location, time, and date of the accident, as well as weather conditions and any other relevant factors that might have contributed to the accident.

Consulting Legal and Medical Professionals

Even if you feel fine, visit a doctor to rule out hidden injuries and keep records of all medical visits and treatments, as these will be important for legal or insurance claims. Contact a Washington car accident attorney familiar with Washington State laws to help you understand your rights, deal with insurance companies, and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Work with your attorney to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to report the accident. Provide them with all necessary information and documentation, including the police report number, photos, and any witness information.

Facing a car accident can be daunting, but knowing the proper steps to take can make a significant difference. By following this auto accident checklist, you can ensure your safety, protect your rights, and make the aftermath of an accident more manageable. Always remember to seek professional legal and medical advice to support you through this challenging time.

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Have You Been Injured in a Washington Car Accident?

At Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, we understand the impact that a car accident can have on your life. With over 40 years of hands-on experience assisting Washington State residents with their personal injury claims, our dedicated team of attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve. We offer free consultations, during which we will answer your questions, explain the recovery process, and discuss how we can help connect you with compensation for what you’ve been through. To learn more, call Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner today or connect with us through our secure online contact form.

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Matt Conner

Matt Conner, a distinguished attorney at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, brings a unique blend of financial and legal expertise to his practice. Graduating with a double major in mathematics and economics from Willamette University, he initially honed his analytical skills as an economist for the State of Oregon. Specializing in personal injury law, Matt is adept at handling a wide array of cases, including multiparty litigation against large entities, and claims involving gun violence, sexual and police misconduct, car accidents, traumatic brain injuries, and wrongful death. Admitted to the Washington State Bar in 2014, he is known for his tenacious advocacy and deep compassion for clients facing life-altering challenges. His approach is not just about legal representation; it’s about restoring lives.