THE TEN THINGS TO DO AFTER YOU ARE INVOLVED IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT
Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents often involve personal injury to the driver or passengers, and some accidents lead to death. If you are involved in an accident, you should do the following to protect yourself and your interests:
- STAY WHERE YOU ARE. Don’t leave the scene of an accident, even if it’s a minor one, until you have done the following.
- ASSESS FOR INJURIES. If anyone is injured at the scene, dial 911 immediately to report the wreck.
- SECURE THE SCENE. Make sure to turn your emergency flashers on to help prevent further accidents. Use flares or flashlights if it is dark to help other drivers see you. So long as the vehicles do not interfere with the flow of traffic, they should remain where they are.
- CALL THE POLICE. Even if no one is seriously injured, you should still call the police. A police report will help you in filing a claim with your insurance company. You’ll want to provide the police with an accurate description of what occurred, as best you can. But if you’re not sure of the answer to a question, just say so.
- PHOTOGRAPH THE SCENCE. If you have a cell phone with a camera, make sure and take pictures of the accident as soon as possible.
- EXCHANGE INFORMATION. You should try and obtain the name, address and telephone number of all persons involved in the accident, including drivers, passengers, and witnesses. You should also request to see the insurance card for all vehicles involved in the accident and copy down the information.
- NOTIFY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY. Many automobile insurance policies require that you immediately report any accident. You should also inquire as to whether you are eligible for coverage under your policy for medical benefits.
- FOLLOW-UP WITH YOUR MEDICAL PROVIDER. Many times, injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents may take a few days to become apparent. You should seek medical attention at your local emergency room or by seeing your family physician if you have any pain from the accident, or if you lost consciousness or were dazed during or after the accident.
- DOCUMENT YOUR CASE. Make a file and preserve all of your documents related to the accident. If you rent a car or incur any other expenses due to the accident, you should maintain receipts for such expenses. You should also keep notes regarding your conversation with any claims adjuster, including their name, contact information, and your claim number. However, you should not offer a recorded statement to the adjuster until you have consulted an attorney.
- CONSULT AN ATTORNEY. Your attorney can provide you with valuable information to ensure your rights and assist in making sure you are fully compensated for your damages and any bodily injury. Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no legal fee unless you recover compensation for your injuries.