If tragedy strikes it is important to act quickly to preserve your rights. Although talking to a lawyer may be the furthest thing from your mind when you are focused on dealing with an injury, it is important to act quickly before important evidence is destroyed. If you don’t call a lawyer now you may never know what your options are.
What to do if you have been involved in an auto accident:
- Stay as calm as possible.
- Check for injuries. Life and health are more important than damage to vehicles. When in doubt, call an ambulance.
- If you are injured seek immediate medical treatment.
- If the accident is minor and there are no serious injuries, move cars to a safe place, rather than risk being in moving traffic.
- Turn on hazard lights. If warranted, and possible, use cones, warning triangles or flares for safety.
- Call the police, even if the accident is minor.
- Contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
- Notify your insurance agent about the accident.
- Don’t sign any document unless it is for the police or your lawyer.
- Make immediate notes about the accident including the specific damages to all vehicles involved.
- If the name on the auto registration and/or insurance policy is different from the name of the driver, establish the relationship and jot it down.
- Get witness information including names, telephone numbers, and addresses, if possible, as well.
- Be polite, but don’t tell the other drivers or the police that the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.
- Likewise, do not accuse the other drivers of being at fault at this time.
- Everyone is usually shaken up immediately after an accident, and it is wise to state only the facts.
- Limit your discussion of the accident to your lawyer and the police.
- Even if the facts are embarrassing or detrimental to you, be truthful.
- If you have a camera handy, and it is safe to do so, it may be helpful to photograph the accident scene.
- If possible, do not leave the accident scene before the police officers and other drivers do.
- DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES GIVE A STATEMENT TO THE OTHER DRIVER’S INSURANCE COMPANY.
- Remember that investigating the accident should be left to the police officers, your lawyer, and the insurance companies.