The aftermath of a car accident can be challenging to navigate, but the days and weeks after a car accident can be daunting as well. Add in a car accident on private property, and you now have a whole other set of issues beyond your typical collision scenario.
But first, no matter how or where it happened, the first thing you should do after a car accident is to check for injuries. Safety is the priority, and the wellness of anyone involved in your auto accident tops everything else. Make sure everyone is okay and if anyone needs medical attention, call 9-1-1 immediately.
What to Do After A Car Accident on Private Property
After determining if anyone needs medical assistance, there are some specific steps you’ll need to take.
Call the Police
Getting an official police document is important to the claim you’ll need to make with your insurance company, especially when a car accident on private property occurs. Whether you believe you are at fault for the accident or not, be sure to get this information. Also get the name and badge number of the reporting police officer just in case you need to make contact following the accident. Also, ask for a copy of the police report for your own records.
Find Out Who Owns the Private Property
If the owner isn’t already on the scene, you’ll need to knock on the door of the person whose property is damaged. If no one is home at the time, ask a neighbor if they can reach the owners. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to handle the situation the same way you would handle a car accident that involves a parked vehicle with no driver in sight and leave a note with your name and contact information.
Do Not Admit Fault
Know that anything you say following the accident to the police or to the owners of the private property can be used against you in determining fault and how the claims will be settled between insurance companies. It might be difficult, but do not apologize for the accident. Your instinct may tell you to say you’re sorry because private property was damaged, but some insurance company will take this kind gesture and turn it into an admission of wrongdoing.
Document the Scene
That old saying “A picture is worth thousand words” is more true auto accidents than anywhere else. Pull out a camera or your cell phone and take pictures of everything. Focus specifically on the damage to your vehicle and that of the private property. Photograph the weather conditions, the road conditions, the scene and street signs.
Talk to Witnesses
Was anyone around to see the car accident unfold? If so, get the name and contact information from anyone on the scene who saw what happened. This is very powerful testimony that can make or break your auto accident case.
Attorney First, Insurance Company Second
You may feel the need to reach out to your insurance company immediately, but first, reach out to an attorney who can represent your case. Insurance companies often deny claims on private property because of the high cost involved. Although you’re a loyal, paying customer, know that the #1 priority of insurance companies is to pay out the least amount of money as possible. Despite the caring commercial you see in ads, and on television, insurance reps work for the insurance company, not you. They have a team of lawyers who review car accidents on private property, and their job is to keep the insurance company from having to pay your claim or to help the insurance company pay as little as possible.
We Are on Your Side
If you have been involved in a car accident on private property, don’t hesitate to reach out to the attorneys at Hernandez & Cabra today. We will stand beside you, go against the insurance company and work tirelessly to make sure your claim is covered whether you are at fault for your car accident on private property or not.
Contact the attorneys at Hernandez & Cabra for a free consultation today. Our teams have vast experience representing clients involved in car accidents on private property. It can be extremely stressful to deal with the complex issues that come along with car accidents like yours, so we’ll handle all the paperwork and phone calls while you focus on the other things that matter. Reach out today and we’ll stand with you from the moment we take your case until it closes in your favor.