HELP! I Was In An Auto Accident, What Do I Do?
This is a question we hear quite often from new clients who recently experienced a car accident. Being involved in an automobile accident can be a very scary experience. In addition to facing personal injuries and property damage, there are often legal authorities, insurance companies, and at-fault drivers to deal with as well. Below are a few things to keep in mind if you are ever involved in an auto accident.
- Be sure to stop if you are involved in an accident. No matter how minor, do not drive away from the scene of an accident without stopping to address the matter appropriately first.
- Call the police. It is important to involve the authorities. The police will evaluate the accident, take statements, and write a police report that will later be available to you and others involved.
- Be honest and accurate. The police may have questions for you about what happened. It is important to make an accurate record by being honest and accurate to the best of your ability. If there is something you don’t know, indicate that rather than trying to guess.
- Be visible. If it is nighttime or visibility to other drivers is a concern, do all you can to make your location and presence known to passing traffic to avoid anyone else hitting your vehicle. Turn on your vehicle lights, place flares if you have them, or use a flashlight.
- Take photos. If you or someone you trust is able to do so, take photos of your vehicle and the other vehicles involved, specifically focusing on any vehicle damage and license plates. If it is possible given the circumstances, take photos of your injuries as well.
- Exchange auto insurance information with the other driver.
- Seek medical attention. If you feel you may need medical attention, get it, right away. Then follow your doctor’s orders.
- Call your auto insurance carrier to report this incident. They will likely have several questions for you about what happened. They may at some point ask to take a recorded statement. In many states, you are allowed to decline having your statement recorded.
- Keep documents related to the incident in one place. Create a file or an electronic record to keep track of documents related to the accident.
- Consider your legal rights. Consult an attorney as soon as possible if you are injured. An attorney could assist in helping you understand your rights.