No one expects to be involved in a motor vehicle accident. Unfortunately, accidents can occur in a split second and it is important to be prepared.
What to do following an accident
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, the first priority is your safety. Make sure you are in a safe location and check for injuries to yourself and others. If necessary, call for emergency medical assistance.
After ensuring everyone’s safety, you ordinarily want to contact the police to file a report of the accident. A police report is often critical to documenting a scene and recording witness information.
While cooperating with police is a good idea, you should speak with an attorney before acknowledging fault or admitting liability for the accident. Recognize that any statements made at the scene can be used against you.
If you can safely do so, take photographs of the scene, including any of your injuries or property damage. Your photographs ideally should document the entire scene and provide a sense of scale. Photograph any damage to the interior of your vehicle as well.
Check for and photograph any skid marks on the street and note any surveillance cameras in the area.
Seek prompt medical attention for any injuries. Report all symptoms that follow an accident so that you can later connect any injuries to the accident.
Whiplash is a common injury with potentially long-term consequences, so report any neck, back or shoulder pain.
Protect your rights
Anytime you are involved in a serious car accident, you should speak with a knowledgeable attorney for advice regarding your legal rights and any potential avenues of relief.
The financial and emotional costs of an accident can be enormous and an attorney can help you work to recover from your insurance company or any other driver responsible for your injuries.