Yesterday I struck up a conversation with a lady at Starbucks. When I told her I was a lawyer, she said “You know, I have always wondered, what should I do if I get in an accident? Is just exchanging insurance info enough?” It is really easy, in the midst of the stress and everything else going on at an accident scene, to overlook a lot of little important things. To help you out if you are ever in an accident, we have put together this list. Print it out and keep it in your glove box in your car! Here are a few steps to take after any type of motor vehicle accident:
- Remain at the scene: The most important thing to do when considering what to do after a car accident is to remain at the scene. If you leave the accident scene without notifying the police, you may face criminal charges as a hit-and-run driver.
- Check for serious injury: Make sure everyone involved in the accident is all right. Call for an ambulance if necessary.
- Cooperate with the police: Notify law enforcement of the accident right away, and give them the information they request.
- Police report: Get a police report or request the report number from the officer on the scene this is very important.
- Exchange vital information: Provide the other party with your name, phone number, address, and insurance company details. Do not admit fault or provide any more details than necessary.
- Gather evidence: Take photos of the accident scene and any visible injuries. Ask for the contact information and statements of any witnesses.
- Speak with your insurance company: Tell them the facts about your accident but do not downplay your injuries. Do not give any statements to the other party’s insurance company without consulting an injury lawyer.
- Keep track of medical treatment: Write down the names of your doctors, any treatments you receive, and the expenses you incur as a result of the accident.
- Contact a personal injury attorney: You have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim, but it is best to get our injury attorney on your side right away.