What to Do After an Auto Accident in Grand Junction?
There Are Crucial Steps to Follow After a Motor Vehicle Crash
If you have questions about what to do after an auto accident, we invite you to read the information compiled below by our accident attorneys at Doehling Law to find out the answer.
For more specific answers to your questions, please contact Doehling Law to set up a free consultation at our Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Montrose, or Aspen office to speak with our experienced legal team.
Common Auto Accident FAQs
We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about auto accidents in Colorado, including:
- What Information Do I Need to Collect?
- Should I Call the Police?
- Do I Need to Take Pictures of the Accident Scene and Preserve Other Evidence?
- Should I Go to the Doctor?
- When Should I Contact a Personal Injury Attorney?
- Should I Contact My Insurance Company?
- Should I Talk to the Other Drivers’ Insurance Company?
The responses to these questions will also contain answers to other relevant questions and concerns you may have.
Q:What Information Do I Need to Collect?
A:Following a car crash, the most important thing is to ensure your and everyone’s safety. Check on yourself and the other people involved and call 911 if necessary. Next, it is imperative that you take steps to immediately obtain as much evidence as you can. After confirming everyone involved in the accident is safe, collect the following from all drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and witnesses involved in the accident: Names Contact numbers Addresses Insurance information Driver’s license numbers In addition, make notes about as much of the following as you can: How did the accident occur? Did anyone involved in the accident immediately report any injuries to first responders or anyone else? Was anyone provided medical assistance at the scene of the accident? Where did the accident take place? When did the accident occur? Where there any weather conditions that could have contributed to the accident, such as a bright glare from the sun or roads slippery from rain? Was there anything already wrong with any of the vehicles involved prior to the accident, such as a broken headlight, brake light, signal, flat tire, dents, etc.? What damage was sustained to the vehicles as a direct result of the accident? Were any of the vehicles towed from the scene of the accident? Did anyone verbally admit responsibility for the accident, and what comments were made? Were the police called to the scene? If so, what were their names and badge numbers? Did they issue anyone a ticket? Did anyone appear to be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol? Were any of the involved parties driving a company-owned vehicle or driving for work-related reasons at the time of the crash?
Q:Should I Call the Police?
A:Yes. Contact the authorities immediately if you are involved in a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or any other kind of motor vehicle accident. Reporting the accident to the authorities provides proof of the accident that is essential to your personal injury claim. Calling the police will also provide an opportunity for an immediate investigation of the scene of the accident by a neutral third party. The police report will include witness statements, a check for drug or alcohol use, and may even secure an admission of fault from the negligent driver. They may also issue one or more traffic tickets for infractions that led to the accident, which can be additional proof of negligence. Even if your car accident was minor, resist the urge to keep things simple by settling things with the other driver(s) on the spot. You should also get checked out by a doctor for any injuries, even if you feel fine.
Q:Do I Need to Take Pictures of The Accident Scene & Preserve Other Evidence?
A:Definitely. Even if the police take photos, you should try to take as many pictures as you can from as many different angles as soon as possible after the accident. Take photos of the accident location, the vehicles involved, various approaches to the accident scene, and of the persons involved, particularly if they have suffered an injury. Also, taking photos of the accident and roadway can capture vital evidence such as "impending" skid marks. Tires do not immediately lockup and change from rolling tires to skidding tires. During the braking process, a tire begins to leave an imprint on the roadway before actually skidding. These marks are "impending" skid marks and are faint marks that can normally be seen on the roadway for only 24 to 48 hours after a collision. An impending skid and a skid mark, when taken together, give a more accurate record of the actual speed of a car before braking. You should try to preserve as much from the accident scene as possible to prevent it from being lost, destroyed, sold, or otherwise compromised. If the evidence is removed to another location, it is important to put everyone on notice by certified mail, including owners, tow operators, wrecking yards, police impounds, and others so that they take every step to preserve important evidence. Failure to do so will subject them to being sued for allowing evidence to be destroyed. Our firm also works with investigators and other expert personnel who often can rush to the scene of any serious accident and preserve and document valuable evidence before it is lost.
Q:Should I Go to The Doctor?
A:Yes. Never resist seeing a medical professional after an accident—even if you feel fine. It is not uncommon for physical pain to manifest 12 to 24 hours after an accident. For instance, even if you walked away after being rear-ended in a truck accident, you might wake up the following morning with horrible back pain that may have been prevented or treated earlier if you’d headed straight to the hospital. You should definitely seek immediate medical attention if you feel any pain or discomfort or are seriously injured in any type of automobile accident. Many accident victims make the mistake of thinking their pain will go away on its own, waiting several weeks or even months before finally caving in and going to the doctor. Postponing treatment is not only bad for your health—it will affect your chances of obtaining the settlement you are entitled to since there will be no medical record of your injury on file at the time of the accident. Seeing a doctor following the accident will ensure an early diagnosis of your injuries and could drastically reduce your discomfort and future treatment needs. Follow the doctor's advice to the letter and never miss a doctor's appointment or seeing a recommended specialist. If you substitute your judgment for that of a medical professional’s, it will be used against you in court.
Q:When Should I Contact a Personal Injury Attorney?
A:As soon as possible after an accident—and after your safety is ensured—contact a local attorney who is experienced in handling personal injury cases related to car accident cases. When you contact Doehling Law, we will set up a free consultation with you right away, so that we can immediately start compiling accident details and evidence while everything remains fresh. If needed, we may also work with an accident scene investigator and/or a reconstructionist to ensure that nothing that may help your case is missed.
Q:Should I Contact My Insurance Company?
A:For the most part, auto insurance companies require their policyholders to notify them promptly after someone is involved in an auto accident. Your insurance company will compile information concerning the accident for its records, such as whether you were at fault or not. They may even make a recorded statement concerning the accident. If you have any doubts and would like legal advice before revealing any information to your insurance company, we highly recommend contacting a lawyer first. We can look into your specific car insurance policy and advise you on how best to provide the information your insurance company needs without compromising your case. You should never give a statement to the other driver's insurance company without consulting with an attorney to protect your rights and future chances of recovering compensation.
Q:Should I Talk to the Other Driver's Insurance Company?
A:No. Never speak to the other side's insurance company before talking to your own counsel or having them present. If you do talk to them before seeking the advice of a Colorado personal injury lawyer, you will regret it. If they do call you, be polite (any angry comments or threatening behavior can be used against you), but decline to speak by saying, "I am not prepared to discuss this matter with you at this time." Insurance companies' claims adjusters are professional negotiators. They have extensive experience manipulating accident victims like you into giving them information that can hurt your claim—including trying to talk you out of hiring your own lawyer.
At Doehling Law, we take auto accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay attorney fees unless we obtain a recovery for you, either through a settlement or a court verdict. Our skilled Grand Junction auto accident attorneys have decades of experience in personal injury law and understand how car insurance companies try to take advantage of accident victims following a crash. We will be by your side the whole way through your case, ensuring that you do not fall victim to these tactics and that you get the compensation you deserve.
Call (970) 292-7171 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an accident lawyer today.