1. Call 911
If you are in any sort of a car accident, the first thing you should do (if you are able) is call 911. Do not agree with the other driver NOT to call the police. If problems develop at a later time, you have no official investigation as to who is responsible for the accident. Sometimes, people give a false name and/or contact information. Your insurance company will want proof there was an accident, so they ask for a police report.
Once the police arrive, be sure to tell the police officer what happened in as much detail as possible. Obviously, you should be honest. If you are injured (even something as simple as an ache), tell the police officer. If you later claim you were in pain at the scene, this conflicts with the fact you told the officer you were okay. DO NOT be a hero by minimizing or ignoring any pain, and DO NOT exaggerate. Tell it the way it is.
2. Tend To Any Injuries
You should determine if you or any passengers are injured. If so, tend to those injuries as best you can until first responders arrive.
3. Exchange Information
If you are physically able, you can begin exchanging information with the other driver – particularly insurance information. However, this is not always needed, as the Police will obtain this information and share it with you.
If there are witnesses who are willing to stop and provide assistance before the Police arrive, try to get their name and contact information but only if you are physically able to do so. Having independent witnesses always helps your case. They can provide an outside view of the accident and provide support for the findings of the investigating officer in the Accident Report.
6. Seek Medical Attention
As far as injuries go, it is not uncommon to feel “okay” at the scene and then later your body starts aching from the trauma that occurred in the accident. It is ultimately your decision, but if you are having pain or other issues following an accident, you should strongly consider seeking medical attention to find out what is going on (at the very least).
If you are uncertain as to your legal rights regarding any property damage and personal injuries caused by a car accident, you should consult a lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can assist you in assessing a multitude of facts which determine the merits of your case.
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