If you are in a car crash, it can be difficult to know what to do at the scene of an accident. First, do not panic. Check to see if you, your passengers, or the other parties involved sustained injuries. After assessing the situation, call 911 to report the accident and ask for an ambulance if necessary. Try to prevent anyone from leaving the scene of the accident. Hit-and-run drivers face serious consequences.
If you suffered injuries in a car wreck, your loved one died in an accident, or you do not know who to hold liable for a multi-vehicle crash, contact the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, at 865-546-1111. Our attorneys have more than 20 years of combined experienced helping Tennessee motorists recover compensation for damages suffered in crashes across the state.
We offer free, no-obligation case evaluations to crash victims. Our attorneys can answer any questions you have about your accident. If you have a viable case, we can file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses.
What Information Should I Exchange With the Other Driver?
The most critical information to exchange includes the following:
- The name, address, and phone number of each driver;
- The name, policy number, and phone number of each driver’s insurance company;
- The license plate number of each vehicle; and
- The make, model, and color of each car.
For your safety, do not give out your driver’s license number to those involved in the accident. If anyone physically threatens you, do not give out your home address. Report threats to the police.
Should I Call Police If There Were No Injuries?
Yes, you should report the accident for several reasons. For one, Tennessee Vehicle Code §55-10-106 requires you to report a car accident to the local police, the county sheriff’s department, or the nearest highway patrol when the crash involves injury, death, or property damage of $50 or more.
Similarly, Tennessee Vehicle Code §55-10-107 requires drivers or vehicle owners to file a written report with the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security if an accident involves bodily injury or death or if the property damage to any one person is $400 or more. If you do not file the report, you risk suspension of your driver’s license and vehicle registration. You have 20 days to file the report.
Should I Report the Accident to My Insurance Company?
Yes, you should also report the accident to your insurance company. Your insurance company will need a copy of the police report of the accident in case you file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurer or the other driver files a claim against your insurer.
Pay attention to what you tell your insurance company when you report your accident. If you admit to fault, it could jeopardize your claim for compensation.
If possible, take photos of the accident scene to show damages done to the vehicles. If you cannot take photos, write down as much as you can about the injuries you sustained and the vehicle damages. This documentation will help prove your claim.
How Will I Pay for My Damages If the At-Fault Driver Did Not Have Auto Insurance?
If you carry Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage in your auto insurance policy, you can file a claim with your own insurance company. UM pays for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages after an accident an uninsured driver caused.
What If the Other Driver Offers to Pay My Damages If I Do Not Report the Crash?
Sometimes drivers do not want to report accidents because they may not have a driver’s license, they do not have auto insurance, or they do not want to have contact with police. Instead, they offer to pay for car repairs or offer large amounts of cash in exchange for not reporting the accident.
We recommend that you report your accident. You have no guarantee the driver will pay for your car repairs and damages. If you later face unforeseen costs, you will have no way of getting compensation for them. Finally, accepting a check or cash payment from the driver means are in violation of Tennessee’s accident-reporting requirements.
How Can I Get Help Recovering Compensation for My Damages?
Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, today at 865-546-1111 to discuss your recent car accident. We will thoroughly investigate your crash and handle all aspects of your insurance claim, from filing the paperwork to negotiating a fair settlement.
Our firm works on a contingency basis, which means you do not pay us unless we provide a favorable outcome for your case.