We hope the previous three blogs have given you some useful tips. We hope you never find yourself in this situation, but if you do have an accident, knowing what you should do will be invaluable down the road when you have to start dealing with insurance companies. Bottom line is that you should take a deep breath, stay calm and consult your personal injury attorney for any questions and before you take any action and/or make statements.
Steps TO take after you’ve had a car accident:
- DO call for help immediately if someone is injured.
- DO insist the police come to the scene, regardless of the “size” of the accident.
- DO turn on your hazard lights and if possible, move your car to a safe place out of the flow of traffic.
- DO call 911 so that there is a record of the accident on file.
- DO get the other car’s license plate if they leave the scene.
- DO exchange information (address, phone, insurance, etc.) with the other party.
- DO get contact information from any witnesses.
- DO photograph every aspect of the car accident (remember your cell phone most likely has a camera).
- DO report the accident to your insurance company, but only give basic facts at this point.
- DO seek medical attention. If you are seriously injured, go to the ER by ambulance. Otherwise, make an appointment with your doctor immediately. Don’t stop treatment before your doctor advises you to, not matter how much better you may feel.
- DO call your personal injury attorney.
- DO begin an “accident log”. Jot down everything, everyday in as much detail as possible. Make notes about the amount of pain you are experiencing, missing work and subsequent lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses such as medications (prescription and over-the-counter), doctor’s visits, etc..
Things NOT to do after your car accident:
- DON’T panic or lose your temper. Both will work against you.
- DON’T leave the scene of the accident.
- DON’T discuss the accident or lay blame on anyone, especially yourself.
- DON’T delay in getting medical attention.
- DON’T talk with or make a statement to the at-fault person’s insurance company.
- DON’T accept a settlement or sign any papers without first consulting your personal injury attorney.
- DON’T post pictures or post information about your accident on any social media venue (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). They can harm your case and come back to haunt you!
All of the “Dos and Don’ts” listed above are so important. Keeping a clear mind and following the above protocol can make a huge difference in the final outcome of your car accident. Having the right kind of information and details of the accident at your fingertips will ensure that both you and your attorney have the tools to work with for the best possible outcome of your case.