Top 10 Things to do in an Auto Accident…
1. Call the Police
- Law enforcement needs to be contacted immediately in a situation involving an auto accident. They are responsible for making sure that more accidents do not occur because of altered traffic paths.
- It is also a good idea to make sure the police are involved because they have the ability to congruently contact all other medical and enforcement professionals that may need to be involved in order to ensure that everyone is safe and cared for.
- Don’t wait! As soon as a victim is able, police should be contacted, regardless of the opinions of others.
2. Ask for medical assistance as soon as possible
- Your health and well-being are of the utmost importance in an auto accident. Often times, victims of these circumstances can be seriously injured without outward signs. EMS will be able to evaluate your situation and make allowances for injuries that may not yet be visible.
- Always listen to the attending medical personnel, they possess the training and expertise necessary to ensure that you are properly evaluated and transported.
3. DO NOT move automobile unless instructed by police
- Now is not the time to be a superhero. Victims must make sure to follow the instructions of the authorities who are responsible for the safety of all involved.
- A bad situation could turn worse very quickly if coordination efforts conducted by law enforcement are not adhered to.
4. Collect personal & insurance information from all drivers
- If you are able to make sure you collect personal & insurance information from all drivers. Even if someone suggests that this should be handled out of court, make absolutely sure you complete this step if you are not too injured to do so. Adjustments can always be made later, but this is your chance to make sure that you are covered no matter the outcome.
5. Note the date, time, and location of the incident
- Good record keeping is so very important. Keep a notepad and pen in your vehicle so that you can jot down the details of the accident. Not only is a victim often shaken from such a traumatic incident, but jotting down this vital information will be an honest reference of the circumstances if needed.
- Be proactive, write down everything, even if it seems unimportant at the time.
6. Look for any witness and collect their names, telephone, and driver’s license numbers
- A victim must take every opportunity to ensure that facts and information are collected in order to produce an accurate account of events. The more points of view that are collected, the clearer the picture will become when recounted at a later date.
- The account of the people involved in the accident will most likely be different from those who observed, all points of view are crucial.
7. DO NOT admit any liability or fault
- Often a victim’s initial response may be skewed because of the trauma associated with the incident. Anything that is stated may be recorded or later recited so victims should try to focus on making sure the police are contacted, medical assistance is underway and the proper information is documented.
- Taking pictures, collecting information and taking notes are of more importance at this point than communicating about what just happened.
8. Take pictures of the automobile
- There is no better documentation that a photo of the incident. Many facts can be gathered from pictures. A victim should make sure to take pictures from all vantage points, close up, far shots and everything in between.
- A camera should always be readily available. An inexpensive camera kept in a vehicle will help to ensure that it is there when needed.
9. DO NOT make a deal with an insurance company
- Victims are not often capable of rational negotiations following such a traumatic event. Now is not the time to try to navigate experts in this field. Focus on collecting information and making sure that medical authorities are attending injuries.
10. Call Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C.
- Even if it is post-accident, negotiating with insurance companies is not within the training of most victims. It is the daily job of insurance companies to deal with situations like this, so even when the victim is in a rational state, the guidance of an expert is essential.
- Our legal team possesses over 100 years of personal injury claims experience. In addition, members of our team have unique insights into how the opposing side handles claims of negligences.
In order to be as prepared as possible in the unfortunate instance that you are in an auto accident, don’t stress yourself out even more than you will be. Print this guide out and keep it in a small bag in your glove box with a pen, paper, and a camera. Hopefully, you will never use it but being prepared may make the difference.