Thousands of people are in car crashes every day. If you are unlucky enough to be in an auto accident, there are some things you should do at the accident scene and after you return home.
At the Accident Scene
1. Call 9-1-1 and report the accident. The safety and well-being of all those involved in the accident naturally take precedence over everything else! Make sure the police dispatcher is aware of possible injuries, and that an ambulance might be necessary.
2. Try to get pictures of the accident scene, in case an investigation is later needed. If no one is available to take pictures and you can do so without further injuring yourself or exposing yourself to danger, take the photos yourself.
3. If you can do so safely, move the cars out of the traffic.
4. Obtain the name, address and phone numbers of any and all witnesses.
5. Exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver(s) involved.
6. Answer all questions from the police officer responding to the accident. However, be cautious about what you say, because you may be in shock and may not be thinking clearly. Ask the officer how you can get a copy of the report.
7. If your vehicle is towed, take all your personal property out (remember your garage door opener!).
After the Accident—At Home
Sometimes people do not recognize that they are injured until hours or days after the accident. If you begin to feel poorly, go to the emergency room and get checked out. Here are some other things you’ll need to do after you get home:
1. Report the accident to your insurance company.
2. Jot down your recollections about the accident and how you feel and store your notes and any photos you took of the crash.
3. If the doctor has told you to stay home, call your employer.
4. If an insurance adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company calls, do not agree to give a recorded statement and do NOT sign a settlement until you have consulted with an attorney.
5. Take photographs of any bruising, cuts or other injuries that are visible.
6. Be sure to follow-up with treatment to help your injuries.
Fortunately, the majority of auto accidents do not result in injury, but if you were injured in the accident, you should contact Wagner, Falconer & Judd, Ltd. to ensure your rights are protected.