10 Things You Should Always Do In a Car Accident
- Stop Immediately. It doesn't matter how minor the car accident was. It is imperative that you do not leave the scene of the accident. If the accident is a very minor one, you can agree with the other party involved to move the vehicles away from the road way but only after you conferred with the other party involved.
- Protect yourself and others. Make sure your disabled vehicle will not cause any other accidents. Use flares and/or emergency lights to warn other drivers of your disabled vehicle.
- Contact Law Enforcement. Call 911 as soon as you can. Police officers will assist you with clearing the accident scene safely and will assist in establishing who is the at fault party to the accident. If the other party is liable, a police report is going to be a very important tool in convincing the at fault party's insurance company of their lability. Call 911 even if the at fault party agrees and admits to the liability. They can later change their mind and often do.
- Look for witnesses. After a car accident, if possible, you should try to ask people nearby if they saw what happened. If they did, ask them for their contact information. These witnesses can be very valuable if the liability is disputed by the other party to the accident.
- Describe in detail what happened. When police officers arrive, tell them exactly what happened. If the car accident was not caused by you, reiterate to the police officers that it was not your fault. Take pictures of the scene if possible. If you are not sure if you were injured or not, never say you were not to the police officers or to the EMTs, but rather tell them you don't know. Most car accident injuries show symptoms days after the actually collision.
- Collect information. If for any reason the police officers never arrived to the scene, make sure to collect information from all other parties involved in the accident. Make sure to get their names, addresses, and insurance information.
- Inform you insurance company. Call your insurance company and inform them of what happened. If you have PIP coverage, your insurance company will pay for your treatment and your lost wages caused by the accident until the liable party will compensate you for damages.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you don't feel any symptoms immediately after a car accident, schedule a checkup with your doctor. If you feel symptoms immediately after the accident, go to an emergency room. Most symptoms will not appear right after the car accident but days or even weeks after. If a doctor recommends treatment, start the treatment as soon as you can.
- Keep a journal. Right after the car accident, if you think you may have been injured, record all of your symptoms and accident related expanses down. Make sure to be as detailed as possible.
- Contact an attorney. Contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your options. Most attorneys will give you a free consultation about your accident and discuss your options. Do not talk to the insurance company of the liable party until you have consulted with your attorney. Insurance companies may try to get you to admit to your liability or your partial liability.
Author: Denis Globa