Motor vehicle accidents can be traumatizing, even minor ones. When you’re in such an emotional state, it can be difficult to think clearly. But the moments following an auto accident are crucial to the outcome of your case if you choose to file a personal injury claim. Read on for more information about what to do immediately following a car accident.
- Remain at the scene: This is important for many reasons. For starters, if someone else was injured or property was damaged, you could face criminal charges as a hit-and-run driver. Secondly, never assume that you weren’t injured or that no damage occurred to your vehicle. Injuries and damages can appear hours, days, or even weeks after an accident. If you didn’t stick around to get the other driver’s information, you’ll be out of luck when it comes to recovering damages.
- Make sure that passengers and other drivers are safe: Don’t proceed to the next steps until you are certain that everyone involved in the accident is safe. If anyone needs medical attention, call for help immediately. If someone is unconscious, or complaining of severe pain in the back or neck, avoid moving them until professionals arrive. If you are injured and conscious, ask someone to call for help.
- Contact the police: Once you’ve determined that everyone is okay, it’s time to call the police. If there is property damage or injuries, this is of the utmost importance. If no injuries or property damage are apparent, go to the next step.
- Exchange information with the other driver and any witnesses: It may be unnecessary to call the police if no damages or injuries exist, but it’s never a good idea to avoid exchanging information. Ask the other driver for his or her name, phone number, address, license plate number, and driver’s license number. Also get the names and numbers of any passengers and witnesses. Be polite, friendly, and cooperative. And willingly provide your information in exchange.
- Don’t apologize or talk too much: Anything you say can be used against you. Don’t apologize, even if you think the accident was your fault. Simply ask if everyone is okay and offer to get help if needed. Certainly don’t admit liability. A MA injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured in an auto accident.
- Contact your insurance company: Immediately following the accident and exchange of information, inform your insurance carrier that you’ve been involved in an accident. Give straightforward, clear facts, and avoid lying as this could amount to big trouble down the road.
- Photograph the accident: With today’s smart phones, we always have a camera on hand. Take as many pictures as possible. Photograph the accident scene, damage to your vehicle, any other property damage, and anything that may have contributed to the accident, such as a blocked stop sign. Also photograph your injuries. A dark blue bruise today may be completely faded by tomorrow. A Boston injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident.
- Keep records of any medical treatment and automotive work following the accident: Make a note of any appointments with physicians, chiropractors, and physical therapists, as well as a detailed account of any medications you are prescribed. In addition to your own notes, obtain copies of medical bills. These are invaluable if you decide to bring a personal injury lawsuit. In addition, make a note of how your injuries have negatively affected your life, from lost work time to activities you can no longer participate in.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Top Personal Injury Law Firm
If you have been injured due to another’s negligence, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims for more than 50 years. It is our goal to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can get on with your life. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.