What You Should Do After Getting In A Car Accident
If you are in a car accident, the first thing you need to do is check to see if you or any of your passengers have been injured. If somebody has been hurt, call 911 and don’t try to move them unless it is necessary for their safety. After you confirm that everyone is safe, try to do as many of the following tasks as you can.
Leave the car where you came to a stop.
In order to reconstruct the accident later, it is important not to move the car after the accident. This will make the police report more accurate and eliminate any doubt as to where you came to a stop.
You may be in shock and not realize you are hurt. Don’t assume that someone else will call 911.
Take photos with your phone.
Take pictures of all the vehicles involved in the accident as well as any vehicles that stopped at the scene, including shots of their license plates. You should also take pictures of the accident scene from as many angles as you can.
Get the names and phone numbers of witnesses.
Once a witness leaves the scene of an accident, it is virtually impossible to track them down. Many witnesses leave the scene before the police show up; if you don’t get their contact information while they are still there, you have lost a potential witness who can verify your version of what happened.
Don’t apologize or admit fault.
The authorities are going to assess the accident scene to determine who is at fault whether you speak or not. You may believe you are at fault when you are not; admitting fault to the other driver and authorities can count against you in court even if the analysis of the accident scene assigns blame to the other driver.
Go to the emergency room immediately after the accident.
As mentioned before, you may be in shock and not realize that you are injured. Symptoms sometimes don’t appear until hours, days or weeks after the accident. The safest thing to do is get yourself checked out as soon as possible.
Report the accident to your insurance company.
Get in touch with your insurance agent as soon as you can, but don’t talk to the other driver’s insurance company until you’ve spoken with an attorney. The other driver’s insurance company will most likely ask you for a statement concerning the accident. They are trying to get you to say something that will indicate you were at fault. Simply tell them to speak with your attorney.