You’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident. Whether or not there have been injuries, there are certain things that you should always do right after an accident occurs, including contacting a good car accident lawyer. It’s a good idea to make notes of the following and keep them in your car. People often find it difficult to think clearly after an accident so having a written checklist will be helpful. Here are the steps you should take if you ever find yourself the victim of a car accident.
1. Immediately call 911 to notify the authorities of the accident and inform them if you need medical attention. If you don’t have a cell phone have someone else call 911.
2. Pull over and out of the roadway if possible and make sure your car’s ignition is turned off.
3. Practice “situational awareness.” Don’t leave your vehicle without surveying the area for oncoming vehicular traffic, as well as people with bad intentions. You can’t automatically assume that a minor rear end collision was indeed an accident and not caused intentionally by a predator.
4. Wait for the authorities to arrive. Granted, it is conventional wisdom to exchange insurance and registration information with the other driver involved in the accident. However, on a practical basis that is not necessary, as the police officer that arrives at the scene will retrieve that information from all parties involved. The information will also be noted on the driver’s exchange of information form that you will be provided. Remember, you have just been in an accident with someone you probably don’t know and your primary concern before the authorities arrive should be your personal safety and attending to any injuries you may have sustained.
5. It is simply not necessary to engage in a conversation with the other driver. Most importantly, do not discuss matters of liability or fault.
6. If practical, take photographs of the damage to yours and the other driver’s vehicle, as well as the overall accident site.
7. Note any witnesses present and advise the responding police officer of that fact to ensure they are noted on the appropriate accident reports.
8. If you are not medically evacuated from the accident site, seek medical attention immediately.
9. With the exception of your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance adjustor, do not initially communicate with any other insurance adjustors.
10. Contact an experienced car accident attorney to ensure that your rights and interests are protected.