The Post-Accident Checklist
Car accidents happen unexpectedly and can not only result in injury but can also result in a real drain on your finances and mental state. Before you know it, all your savings disappear. With everything going on, it’s easy to lose a sense of what you need to do to make sure you can recover physically, emotionally, and financially. Your best bet is to be prepared. In this blog, we’ve listed nine things that you should do in case you find yourself in an accident.
1. Do Not Panic
A car accident can be nerve-racking, but you must breathe and stay calm. Keeping a clear mind will help you stay in control of the situation. When your mind is steady, it’s easy to remember everything you need to do post-accident.
2. Secure the Area – Ensure You and Others Are Safe
Staying inside your car is your best option if it’s unsafe outside. Once you’ve ensured your safety, check on the wellbeing of your passengers, the other driver, and their passengers. If you can, move your car out of oncoming traffic. If it’s not safe to drive your car, turn on your hazard lights or set up road flares to warn other vehicles.
3. Call the Police and Ambulance
You must call 911 or the nearest police department. An ambulance will come, and first responders can provide care if there are any injuries. The police will assess the situation and ask you to share sensitive information such as your driver’s license and insurance for the accident report.
Get the name and badge number of the responding officers and ask where you can obtain a copy of the police report. Your insurance company may ask for a copy when you start the claims process.
4. Do Not Apologize
In the United States, it is considered an admission of guilt if you apologize after an accident. Without a lawyer to help determine the fault in an accident, an admission of guilt can be used against you and your insurance company, preventing you from recovering damages.
5. Collect Necessary Information
Following the incident, you must exchange information with the other driver. This includes names, contact information, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information. Collect their names and contact information if there are any witnesses to the accident.
6. Take Images and Videos of the Area/the Accident
If you have a camera or smartphone, take pictures or videos of the scene where the accident occurred, damage to your car, and any visible injuries. These will come in handy later when filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
7. If You Seek Medical Attention, Request All Documents and Information
If you need medical attention at the scene of the accident or the hospital, voice your complaints and maintain records of all bills. It’s crucial that you keep all medical receipts, as these will be used to calculate your damages. If the police ask you to undergo any post-accident drug testing or an alcohol test, request a copy of the results to show intoxicating substances were not a factor.
8. Contact Your Insurance Company – Whether It’s Your Fault or the Other Driver’s
Your insurance company needs to know that you have been in an accident, even if the other driver is at fault. Failing to inform your insurer of the accident can result in policy cancellation or denial of future claims.
9. Get in Touch with Your Local Personal Injury Attorney
If you plan on filing a personal injury lawsuit, an attorney will be able to help you navigate the legal system. Furthermore, a personal injury attorney can help you with the extensive claims process and obtaining post-accident test results. They will also gather other evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and argue your case in court, if necessary.
Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney Today
The United States government recognizes the challenges thousands of car accident victims face nationwide. This prompts official government organizations, like the Department of Transportation (DOT), state congresses, and local municipalities to enact and strengthen the laws to protect those on our nation’s highways.
But when you or your loved ones are injured due to negligence or wrongful acts of drivers that violate our laws, we are ready to act for you. With decades of combined legal experience and an unmatched track record of success, our personal injury attorneys at Rossetti, DeVoto, P.C. can help you get the compensation and justice you deserve. We will work diligently to ensure you are offered a fair settlement or win one in court.
Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation now with one of our lawyers by calling us at 856-354-0900 or filling out our online form.