Unfortunately, most of us will be involved in at least one car accident during our lifetime. It’s important that you know what to do after a car accident because people may be injured and emotions may run high.
Check on Everyone Involved in the Car Accident
It is important to remember that car accidents are usually not intentional. Being angry or hostile with the other driver only makes the situation more difficult and stressful. After a car accident, check on everyone involved and ask them if they’re okay. If someone is injured and needs medical attention or if you’re uncomfortable exiting your vehicle, call 911 and ask for emergency assistance.
Call the Police
If there has been a lot of damage to property or if someone has been injured or killed, you should call the police. If police officers arrive at the scene, ask that a police report be filed. If the officers write up a police report, write down the report’s assigned number. It’s also helpful to have the name, badge numbers, and contact information from the responding officers.
- If you’re in a car accident with other vehicles, exchange information with all other drivers. This means getting each driver’s name, driver’s license number, address, phone numbers, insurance company, insurance policy number, and contact information for the insurance company. If the other vehicles had passengers, ask for their contact information too. When talking with others at the scene, you should never apologize for the accident or say that “it’s my fault.” Car accidents are chaotic, and it’s not always clear who or what was at fault.
You should talk to all witnesses of the car accident and write down what they saw and their contact information. Also, record the make/model and registration information of all involved vehicles. If you’re in an accident with other vehicles, use the camera to record the scene from multiple angles but remember to do this safely without entering the flow of traffic. Photographs of these things are usually very helpful: (1) from all of the driver’s perspective before the accident, (2) damages to the vehicles, (3) traffic signs in the area, (4) skid marks, and (5) the final positions of the vehicles. Sometimes, taking video or pictures are not possible because of the car accident’s location, such as on a freeway. Always use good judgment in deciding whether it is safe to record.
Above all, never leave the scene of a car accident until its appropriate to do so. This may mean waiting until you have exchanged information with the other parties involved or the police have arrived.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it may be in your best interest to contact an attorney. An attorney can help you obtain a recovery for the damages you have suffered as a result of the car accident. The Lambert Firm has over 35 years of experience handling car accident cases, and The Lambert Firm does not charge you a fee until a settlement has been reached or damages awarded. As one of The Lambert Firm’s personal injury attorneys, I aggressively represent my clients to help the maximize their recoveries. You can contact me or any of the attorneys at The Lambert Firm here.
PS – Check out our holiday driving tips that we posted earlier this week.