If you are involved in a car accident, follow these steps to protect you and your family:
1. Take some deep breaths and stay calm
2. Keep yourself and others safe
Turn on the hazard lights and do not get out of your car unless it is safe to do so.
3. Call the police
Insist on calling the police. Even though many people involved in an accident want to resolve the issue as soon as possible, it is important that you call the police. You may have suffered injuries you are unaware of; the police report documents the accident and will be available to you as evidence in the event you are, in fact, injured.
When the police arrive, insist on a police investigation and report.
4. Do not move your vehicles (unless safety requires that you do so)
5. Exchange information with other driver(s)
This includes the following information:
- Name, address, and phone number
- Drivers license number
- Date of birth
- Insurance company and policy number
- Make, model, and license plate number of vehicle
6. Photograph and document the accident
Identify witnesses and get their names, addresses, and phone numbers. Also write down the license plate numbers of vehicles around you who would have seen the accident (unfortunately, most witnesses do not stop).
Use a camera phone to take photographs of the following:
- All vehicles involved
- All people involved
- The overall scene of the collision (intersection, traffic lights, etc.)
7. Visit the doctor
If you are injured or believe that you may have suffered an injury, it is important to see a doctor and get medical treatment as soon as possible. Keep in mind that, due the nature of common injuries in a car accident and the stress and adrenaline you experience after the crash, the fact that you have suffered an injury may not be immediately obvious.
After you visit a doctor, it is important to comply with prescribed medical treatment or rehabilitation and to continue with any follow-up appointments. Your medical treatment will document the severity and extent of your injuries, as well as ensure that you are seeking appropriate attention and care. After all, the most important thing is to ensure that your injuries are treated and that you get better. Nothing is more important than your health.
Insurance carriers will be seeking to limit or deny your claims immediately after a car accident. Do not give a statement to any insurance company without first seeking legal advice, and always consult with an attorney before giving information to your insurance company or an outside insurance agency. Click here if you’d like to receive a free consultation with Franklin Law firm.