Some Useful Information If You Were Involved in an Automobile Accident
Click on the links below for tips after a car accident.
At the accident scene:
- Always stop.
- Immediately move your vehicle to a safe place.
- Ask the other drivers or passengers if there are any injuries.
- Telephone police and an ambulance if needed.
- When police arrive, give them an accurate statement.
- If the other driver is at fault, ask the police officer to issue him or her a ticket.
- If you receive a ticket, you should not plead guilty without the advice of your lawyer.
- Do not make any admissions or statements of fault or regret.
- Exchange information with the other driver.
In the days after the accident:
- If you are injured, seek medical care as soon as possible.
- Inform your insurance company of the accident.
- File necessary reports with the state.
- Write down the details of the accident.
- Do not allow the other driver’s insurance company to record a statement from you.
- If you have any questions about payment of medical bills, property damage, or other legal rights, ASK.
At the Accident Scene:
Immediately move your vehicle to a safe place.
If you believe conditions allow, leave your vehicle at the spot of the collision, so that police officers can accurately assess how the collision occurred. If on a highway or interstate, and especially in the event of poor visibility, move your vehicle far off the roadway.
Ask the other drivers or passengers if there are any injuries.
The first priority must be to protect any injured party from further injury. You should never move an injured person unless necessary, for example, to move them from the roadway or from a burning vehicle. Provide further comfort or first aid as needed.
Telephone police and an ambulance if needed.
If other drivers stop, ask them to call the police and ambulance. Make certain they know the location of the accident. In most localities, 911 is usually the quickest means of calling for help. Make certain that someone calls the police and ambulance. Do not assume that someone else has called.
When police arrive, give them an accurate statement of what occurred.
Do not let the other driver give an incorrect statement of the events. If it is in error, state that to the policeman, in a clear, non-argumentative way. Be certain the police officer understands your version of how the collision occurred.
If the other driver is at fault, ask the police officer to issue him or her a ticket.
The police officer may deny your request, but if issued the ticket may be useful in supporting your statements of how the collision occurred.
Do not make any admissions or statements of fault or regret.
When an accident occurs, everyone is sorry. Do not apologize or make any statements; they may be taken out of context and used against you at a later time. If someone else makes such a statement, write it down.
- Name, Address and Telephone #
- Vehicle License # and Driver’s License #
- Vehicle Make, Model and Year
- Vehicle Owner’s Name and Address
- Insurance Company, Name and Address
In the Days After the Accident:
If you are injured, seek medical care as soon as possible.
Your health comes first, before any other concern. If you have symptoms of injury, seek medical care, even if you believe or hope the symptoms will disappear with time; they may not. Proper documentation of medical evidence will also assist you if you later seek compensation for medical bills and for your injuries.
File necessary reports with the state.
The police officer at the scene will instruct you as to the necessary reports to be filed. Be certain you give an accurate statement of how the collision occurred.
Write down the details of the accident as soon as possible.
Such details may include the precise location of the accident, the time and date of the accident, the sequence of events as you recall them, and any statements or conversations you recall, as well as any weather and road conditions. You should also take several photographs of the damaged vehicles, and any damaged property at the scene (fences, buildings, etc.) before they are repaired.
Do not allow the other driver’s insurance company to record a statement from you.
Understand that the other driver’s insurance company does not represent you. Many of their actions will work against your best interests. Before allowing them to make a permanent, recorded record, talk to your lawyer. Remember, the insurance adjuster is a professional at this, you are not.
If you have any questions about payment of medical bills, property damage, or other legal rights, ASK.
Most attorneys will not charge a fee for an initial consultation to review your case. You should see a lawyer and obtain his advice if you have questions or concerns regarding your case, especially before giving a recorded statement or signing any documents, such as a release.
This content is intended to provide general information and guidance only. You should see an attorney and obtain advice if you have questions or concerns regarding your work injury. Most lawyers will not charge any fee for an initial consultation to review your case. Only by asking questions and obtaining answers will you obtain the rights and benefits to which you are entitled.