After a car accident, your life changes in an instant. You are suffering from physical and emotional trauma, and there is significant damage to your automobile. It’s an overwhelming and confusing situation. What should you do next?
There are several important things our auto accident attorneys want you to remember after a traffic accident.
“It might be difficult but try to stay calm and collect your thoughts,” explains Scott Mann, auto accident attorney. “If it’s possible, carefully move your car out of traffic to avoid another accident. Call 9-1-1 if you, your passenger, or the other motorist is injured and needs medical assistance. Motorists should also call the police after a collision.”
After the accident, exchange information with the other motorist. Get their name, number, contact information, make and model of vehicle, driver’s license number, and their insurance carrier and policy number. Write down every detail possible about the accident, including the time of day and weather conditions. Photograph the scene of the accident and any damage to your vehicle. All of this information is vital in receiving fair compensation from insurance companies or during a legal settlement.
“Do not leave your vehicle unless you are absolutely positive that it is safe to do so,” says Mike Wyatt, auto accident attorney. “You don’t want to risk being hit by oncoming traffic. Also don’t try to move if you or a passenger has been injured. Wait for the paramedics to arrive to avoid further injuring yourself.”
Never apologize for the accident or admit fault — especially when the other motorist caused the accident. Even though it seems polite to apologize, the insurance company of the other motorist can use it against you and deny coverage. Also do not tell the other driver the details of your insurance coverage limits and deductibles. This is highly sensitive information. You should never leave the accident scene until you have gathered and exchanged information about the other driver and their vehicle.