What to Do After a Car Accident
When you’re in a car accident it can be both confusing, and frightening. Here are some steps to take to ensure your safety, and the safety of your passengers, while protecting your legal rights.
Step 1: Make sure that you and your passengers are safe, and uninjured. Do not get out of the car unless it is safe to do so. Move the cars out of the road only if it’s a minor accident. In a major accident, leave the cars where they are so that the police can properly file a report.
Step 2: Call the police as soon as possible. A report will need to be filed to keep legal documentation of the accident for insurance purposes. Also call medical aid if you or your passengers are seriously injured. Remember, just because you don’t feel any pain after the accident, it doesn’t meant that you are not hurt. Your adrenaline could be high and you may not feel the pain. You could also have damage to your neck and back that won’t set in until a while after the accident, so always take the proper precautions and call an ambulance to be checked out.
Step 3: Do not admit fault to the accident. To protect yourself legally, do not discuss the accident with anyone other than the police and your insurance company. Never say you’re sorry. Saying your sorry could be used against you later, even if the accident is not your fault.
Step 4: Gather as much information as you can about the accident, and from the other driver. Get all of the other driver’s information. Get their insurance information. The make, model, and color of their car, including license plate number. Take pictures of the scene, and pictures of the damage that was done to your car. Note the location and time of the accident. Gather information from any witnesses is possible.
Step 5: Call a personal injury attorney. Your rights need to be protected, so you do not get taken advantage of by your insurance company, or the other driver’s insurance company.
The effects of a car accident can last for weeks, and possibly even years, depending on its size. Being prepared, and gathering all the right information can make a big difference.