If you’ve ever been involved in an unfortunate auto accident in Portland, you know how terrifying it can be. Especially when the accident was caused by someone other than yourself. Not-at-fault accidents can be the most difficult types of accidents to deal with, because they’re out of your control.
While most accidents are minor, a fender bender or a simple rear end bump, the simplicity of the accident doesn’t take away from the importance of the accident. And just because there are no injuries – minor cuts, bumps, bruises, or major injuries – it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take the auto accident seriously. In fact, many small accidents can mean total losses in terms of vehicle damages, and you could end up spending months trying to file an insurance claim with the responsible party’s insurance company and finding a replacement vehicle.
For many people, dealing with an insurance company is an easy transaction. You file the claim, you receive reimbursement, and you find a new car. However, this kind of transaction is not always the case. Some individuals may find that it is very difficult to get an insurance company to cooperate and reimburse for the damages. In these cases, it will be extremely important to seek out the counsel of someone who knows the law surrounding not-at-fault accidents and who has experience negotiating with insurance companies. In most cases, this person will take the form of a personal injury attorney.
Seeking the advice of an attorney is always a good idea when it comes to situations like these, but there are also simpler, more direct steps that you can take in order to ensure that you have a solid footing when it comes to dealing with insurance claims.
First, always make sure that at the time of the auto accident in Portland, you get as much information and evidence in your possession as possible. After checking to make sure that everyone is alright who was involved with the accident, you will want to get their personal information, and as much of it as you can. Get their name, their insurance information, their phone number and their address.
Second, take pictures at the scene if you have the capability. Today, most everyone has a cell phone or a smart phone that has a camera. Use this to capture important details about the scene – the position of the vehicles, the point of the accident, the overall scene, and close-ups of the vehicles involved. If you find that people are irate about you taking pictures, call the police and ask them to come to the scene. They will make a detailed report and their presence will likely calm any negative outbursts from those people on the scene.
Finally, always check for witnesses. Get their information and ask them if they would be willing to provide a statement. Use your phone again if you would like and record their statement at the scene using the video feature of your cell phone, or simply write down any important points that they have to say.
After you’ve been involved in an auto accident in Portland, you want to make sure that the following steps in the process go smoothly. By taking some simple steps and making sure that you properly document the scene, you can ensure that any further action will go in your favor.