WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT?
STOP WHERE IT IS SAFE TO DO SO. If you are on a busy road, pull your vehicle off to the side of the road, out of the flow of traffic. Do not leave until you have exchanged information.
TAKE PHOTOS OF THE ACCIDENT. If it is safe to do so, take some photos with your phone of the vehicles exactly where they came to a stop. If you are on a busy road, do not put yourself in danger to take pictures.
DETERMINE IF YOU OR ANY OTHER OCCUPANT OF YOUR VEHICLE IS INJURED. If so, call for an ambulance. Even if you do not need an ambulance, if you are feeling symptoms right after the accident, let the other driver and the police know.
CALL THE POLICE IF APPROPRIATE. In minor accidents where no one needs an ambulance and all vehicles can be driven from the scene, the police fo not need to come and will generally not write a report. If it is a serious collision, call 911 immediately.
EXCHANGE INFORMATION. Get the driver of the other vehicles' name, address, phone number, insurance company, and policy number. If the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, get the owner's name, address, and phone number. Get the liscense plate number and make and model of the other vehicle. The easiest way to get this information is to take a picture of the driver's liscense, registration, liscense plate and insurance card.
GET NAMES AND PHONE NUMBERS OF ANY WITNESSES. Witnesses often stop and leave once that see that no one is seriously injured. Get their name and number before they leave.
DO NOT ADMIT FAULT! You are not a lawyer and often you may think that you did something wrong, but legally you have not. Tell the police what happened, but do not admit that you were "at fault" to the poilice or anyone else. Do not apologize for your actions, it can be used against you.
GET MEDICAL CARE. Hospital Emergency Rooms are equipped to diagnos injuries and render critial care. You may also need follow-up care from a physician or other health care provider. Often, the types of injuries common in automobile accidents do not manifest themselves for up to several days after the accident. If that happens, it is not to late to seek medical attention.
CALL AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY. An experienced attorney can advise you of your rights and possible liabilities after an automobile accident. You may be entitled to compensation from more than one source. You may be wrongfully issued a traffic citation which can be overturned in court.
There are many issues and a lot of paperwork involved in dealing with an automobile accident. It is helpful to have an experienced attorney take care of the paperwork which is very confusing and time consuming to the average person.