Your life can change in an instant after a car accident. There is likely significant damage to your car, and you could be suffering from emotional and physical trauma. You might be feeling overwhelmed and confused about what to do next.
Our auto accident attorneys have several important tips for motorists to remember immediately following a car accident.
“It might be difficult but try to stay calm and collect your thoughts,” says 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.”
Exchange information with the other driver. Write down their name, contact information, driver’s license number, make and model of vehicle, and their insurance carrier and policy number. Record the time of day, weather conditions, and every detail possible about the accident. Take a photo of the accident scene and of any damage. This information can be crucial in receiving fair compensation from the insurance company or in 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.”
While it might seem polite to do so, never apologize or admit fault when the accident was caused by the other motorist. Your apology can be used against you by the other driver’s insurance company to deny you coverage. Motorists should also not share sensitive information regarding their insurance policy. Do not tell the other driver details of your coverage limits or deductibles. Never leave the scene of the accident without exchanging and gathering information about the other driver and vehicle.