Nobody who drives a car today is immune from the possibility of being involved in an accident. Such an unfortunate incident can happen to anyone at anytime. In the event that you are involved in a car accident, it is important that you know what to do. It is not wise to simply jump out of the car (if you are physically able to, that is), berate the other driver, and then get back in the vehicle and rush away from the scene. This is a process that needs to be followed in order to preserve and protect your legal rights, and these are the very steps that a professional and experienced car accident attorney would advise that you follow.
Take Care of Any Pressing Medical Needs
The first thing that needs to be done, before you even think about getting upset or assign blame for the accident, is to do an immediate assessment of all passengers in your car. This includes the driver. If possible, make a quick determination as to the immediate physical state of the passengers in any other car involved in the accident as well. If anyone is expressing signs of even being remotely injured, it is important to call the police and get medical personnel on the scene as quickly as possible.
Call the Police
Many people involved in an accident seem to be afraid of contacting the police, or perhaps they feel that it will take too much time to do so. The reality is that the police need to be called to the scene. At a minimum, it will be helpful to have a police record relating to the accident in case you need it at some point in the future, such as an injury that appears later, or to resolve a dispute with the insurance company.
Keep Your Vehicle Where It Is
This is one of those, ‘if it is possible’, suggestions from a skilled lawyer. If your vehicle is blocking traffic, and it can be safely moved out of the way, then, by all means, do so. If it can remain where it is, however, then you need to leave it there. This is important in order for the police to make a determination of exactly what happened, and to record the extent of the damage to the vehicle as well. If you move the vehicle, it disturbs the scene of the accident and this would be noted on their report, potentially causing problems at some point down the road.
Exchange Contact Information With Other Involved Parties
You will want to know who was involved in the accident, as this will be needed at a later time if there is any dispute with the insurance company, or you decide to pursue legal action. If it is possible, get contact information for the other driver, and for any passengers or witnesses as well. The passengers and witnesses can be most useful down the road, particularly to your lawyer; so do not forget about them.
Vehicle Information Should Be Recorded
You should not rely on a police report, or your memory to recall important pieces of information. As you might decide to later have a lawyer take care of many issues related to the accident, it is critical that you provide with as much data about the other vehicles involved in the accident. Record all license plate numbers of any vehicles involve in the incident. In addition, request insurance information from the other driver. As you do this, you will want to note the name of the insurance company and the policy number.
Record Everything You Remember and What Is Said At the Scene
While the accident is fresh in your memory, write down exactly what happened from your perspective. It is also useful to record the statements that you hear anyone else at scene reciting as well.
Remember; take care of yourself first. If you have any injuries at all, you need to get those looked at. If you are physically able, then follow the steps outlined above, as this is commonly given advice by professional in the legal profession. If you need legal assistance after an accident, contact a local professional and experienced car accident attorney to stand by your side.