7 Tips on What To Do After An Automobile Accident
1.) Take pictures. Taking photos of the accident is very important in the event of a crash. Take as many photos as you can, with the best angles that you can in order to get the best pictures of the crash scene and the damage. Take pictures of the location, the traffic and road conditions, the other person’s car, skid marks on the road, missing or damaged road signs, obstructions in the road, or any other evidence you think may support the reason for the accident. The more pictures that are taken, the more evidence you have to substantiate your claim. Most cell phones made today are equipped with cameras, making it easy to take pictures in the event of a crash. As soon as you get home, upload the pictures and write descriptions for each photo while the information from the incident is fresh in your mind.
2.) Insist on calling the police, no matter how nice the other person may seem. Many people do not call the police in the event of an accident because they do not want to involve police who may issue citations, which cause points on licenses. Others do not want the police involved for other reasons, including an outdated or non-existent license, registration, or insurance. Police help guide you through the process of properly documenting the accident. Do not give anyone your social security number in the event of an accident, neither the other driver nor the police will need it.
3.) Speak with a lawyer before taking any action. It is important to speak with an attorney before signing any paperwork, speaking with your insurance company, or admitting fault, even if you believe the accident was your fault. Make sure you do not give details on injury concerns, or say anything that you might have to revoke later because you were speaking while in shock.
4.) Seek medical attention if you have any injuries. If you are in doubt if you have injuries or not, it is always better to err on the side of caution and go get checked out by a medical professional. No matter if the injury is small or large, make sure that a medical professional documents any medical concerns. Many injuries sustained while in car accidents seem small at first, but tend to cause bigger problems as time goes on, such as whiplash.
5.) Document all information from the scene of the crash. Writing down the details from the crash is extremely important. Do not rely on others to document the accident details for you. Make sure you get all of the other person’s information, such as their name, address, phone numbers, license information, plate number, insurance company, and policy number. Write down any details as to why the crash happened, the road conditions, weather conditions, speed you were traveling, distractions that could have been present, anything you may have overheard from individuals on the scene after the crash took place, and anything else you can think of. Make sure to get the responding police officer’s name, badge number, phone number, and police report number. The more details you write down, the better.
6.) Obtain a copy of the police report. It is important to obtain a copy of the police report. This will allow you to compare and gauge the accuracy of your notes that you took. It could also have details of the accident that you may have missed because of the stress you were enduring directly following the accident.
7.) Do NOT admit fault. It is important to not admit fault, even if you believe that you are at fault for the accident. Don’t admit fault to anyone, including the passengers in your vehicle. Be careful with what you say at the accident scene, as these statements can be used against you down the road. Just focus on getting medical attention, if needed, and obtaining details from the accident scene.