After an Accident

Auto Accidents are unexpected and stressful. Even the most careful drivers may be involved. It is important to know what to do if you have been involved in an accident in order to preserve your rights.

It is a good idea to prepare for the possibility of an accident by carrying the following items in your automobile:

  • orange warrning cones
  • emergency flares
  • a good flashlight
  • a blanket
  • a first aid kit
  • bottled water
  • a pen or pencil
  • a pad of paper
  • emergency medical information
  • a disposable camera

What to do if you have been involved in an auto accident:

  1. Stay as calm as possible.
  2. Check for injuries. Life and health are more important than damage to vehicles. When in doubt, call an ambulance.
  3. If you are injured seek immediate medical treatment.
  4. If the accident is minor and there are no serious injuries, move cars to a safe place, rather than risk being in moving traffic.
  5. Turn on hazard lights. If warranted, and possible, use cones, warning triangles or flares for safety.
  6. Call the police, even if the accident is minor.
  7. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
  8. Notify your insurance agent about the accident.
  9. Don’t sign any document unless it is for the police or your lawyer.
  10. Make immediate notes about the accident including the specific damages to all vehicles involved.
  11. 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.
  12. Get witness information including names, telephone numbers, and addresses, if possible, as well.
  13. Be polite, but don’t tell the other drivers or the police that the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.
  14. Likewise, do not accuse the other drivers of being at fault at this time.
  15. Everyone is usually shaken up immediately after an accident, and it is wise to state only the facts.
  16. Limit your discussion of the accident to your lawyer and the police.
  17. Even if the facts are embarrassing or detrimental to you, be truthful.
  18. If you have a camera handy, and it is safe to do so, it may be helpful to photograph the accident scene.
  19. If possible, do not leave the accident scene before the police officers and other drivers do.
  21. Remember that investigating the accident should be left to the police officers, your lawyer, and the insurance companies.