Ten Commandments: Things to Do After a Car Accident
- REPORT THE ACCIDENT to the police. Do so while still at the scene.
- OBTAIN THE OTHER PARTY’S INFORMATION. These include name, address, and phone number. Also email, driver’s license number, car insurer and policy number from their insurance card.
- If possible, TAKE PHOTOS of the accident scene. Also photograph your injuries. And any damage to all cars involved.
- OBTAIN ANY WITNESS’ INFORMATION. This includes name, address, phone number, and email.
- GET IMMEDIATE TREATMENT FOR ANY INJURIES. Don’t be a “hero.” Call an ambulance to take you to the emergency room.
- TELL THE POLICE WHAT HAPPENED. Truthfully tell just the facts. But DO NOT DISCUSS WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE OTHER DRIVER. DO NOT APOLOGIZE. DON’T ARGUE. Don’t become overly emotional.
- Locate your car insurance summary page and policy. Then REPORT THE ACCIDENT TO YOUR CAR INSURANCE COMPANY.
- ASK FOR AND KEEP COPIES OF ALL PAPERWORK. These include POLICE REPORTS, hospital reports, prescriptions, and MEDICAL REPORTS. Write down the name and address of all medical providers.
- DON’T DISCUSS THE CASE WITH ANYONE ELSE. Especially with the other driver’s insurer. Anything you say may be held against you. Therefore, DON’T SIGN ANYTHING without consulting a lawyer first. (You can sign medical consent forms necessary to get treatment needed immediately.)
- CALL A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY. As soon as you are able to. Preferably not later than when you leave the emergency room.
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