The moments after an auto accident can fly by in the blink of an eye. Most drivers who have never experienced this situation will often be clueless about how to proceed and what they should and should not be doing.
These are 5 things you should do after being involved in an accident;
Call 911 and the Local Police
Regardless if you believe you were at fault or you were run into by another driver, the first call you make is to 911, and they should have the police on the way. The reason you want to call is so that the police can document exactly what they observe at the scene, and take testimony from any witnesses. The police will call for an ambulance too so those with injuries can be treated in a timely manner. The police are going to make a detailed report that many insurance companies require before being able to process any claim.
One thing many people don’t realize is that even though you may think that you are at fault in the accident, there are numerous cases where the other driver wound up being without a license or driving while intoxicated, which takes the fault off of you and could potentially place it on the other driver.
Document the Damage at the Scene
The best time to document what happened at the scene of the accident is right after it happens. When you are able to get out of your vehicle safely, use your phone camera to take as many pictures of your vehicle, the other driver’s car, and anything at the scene of the accident that you think could be useful to show fault.
If you are unable to take pictures because you are injured, ask a passenger, a witness, or even the police officer, to take some pictures with your phone so that you can have a record of what happened at the accident.
Exchange Information But Not Fault
Ask the other driver for their contact information and insurance card, and make sure you give them your information. This is too early in the case to be deciding who was at fault, regardless what the other driver says or how the accident appears to be. This is the time to collect the evidence so that the proper professionals down the road can put all the pieces together to see who was at fault and who should be held responsible.
Never accept blame at the scene of the accident or make any promises to take care of the other driver. By the same token, if the other driver wants to take care of this matter without the insurance company, decline and insist on getting their information.
Take the Ambulance Ride to the Hospital
When the ambulance arrives at the scene of the accident, take the ride to the emergency room and let the physicians have a look at you. Regardless how much an inconvenience or if you feel perfectly fine, go to the hospital anyway.
Adrenaline could still be pumping through you body, hiding any potential injuries until you calm down. By then, you could be home and it might be too late to get this documented on a police report.
Contact a Local Professional Attorney
If you do nothing else after the accident, immediately call a local personal injury attorney. The layer will send a team to the scene of the accident to document the location, take pictures and video, and follow-up with witnesses that were there that day. Your attorney will consult with you about the case, and how they plan on proving you were innocent of fault.
Your attorney could subpoena the phone records to uncover evidence the other driver was texting while driving, and that distraction could have been the cause of the accident. The other driver may have been intoxicated or had no license, all factors that could help solidify your case and hold the other driver responsible.
If you take these 5 steps after being involved in an auto accident, right or wrong, you will have done everything possible to help better your chances of getting the most favorable outcome when all is said and done.