Following some common sense steps after a car accident can help drivers avoid some of the most prevalent mistakes. What should you do if you are involved in a car accident?
If anyone is injured or if there is severe property damage never leave the scene of the car accident. Under certain conditions, failing to call the police or fleeing from the scene of an accident may lead to additional charges.
Make sure that no one involved in the car accident is injured, and if they are call 911. Never attempt to move another injured person, unless they are in imminent danger (i.e. the car is on fire). Moving an injured person may result in additional injuries. It is best to allow trained medical personnel do their job. Get the name and personal information from the injured person (if possible) and give it to the paramedics.
Never leave a car accident scene without information from the other drivers. Do not assume the police will gather the information you may need to file an insurance report. Information that should be gathered will include: the names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, insurance information and a copy of the police report. The officers who respond to the call should also be completing an incident report which will include witness statements, telephone numbers, details about the car accident and pictures to document the position of all of the vehicles involved in the car accident.
Let the police do their job. Do not admit guilt and do not swap stories with other drivers. Answer the questions that the police ask, otherwise, keep your mouth shut.
Seek medical attention regardless of whether or not you think you are injured. Some car accident injuries may not manifest themselves until days later. Some injuries may not seem severe, like a brain injury, but failing to seek medical care can be deadly. All medical visits and costs should be documented.
Copies of the accident report and the information gathered at the scene should be given to your insurance company. Do not hide information or attempt to conceal facts about the case.
If another car insurance company calls you and offers a settlement which you do not believe covers the full cost of your car accident injuries, contact a car accident lawyer.