If you are lucky, you will never be involved in a car accident. Even when nobody is hurt it is a stressful situation to find yourself in. That is particularly the case if you are the driver and are accused of being the one at blame.
If you have had a car accident you need to be careful about what you do next. Doing the wrong thing can have a serious impact on your long-term finances, maybe even your ability to earn a living. Here are some of the things you should do, as soon as possible.
Call the police
Even if you think you may be to blame for the accident, you should still make sure that the police attend the scene. In most states, this is a legal requirement. At least, for situations where someone has been hurt or property has been damaged.
Not calling them puts you in a bad position, right from the start. It makes it look like you have something to hide.
Immediately seek medical help for those who need it
If you or someone else needs medical help make sure that they get it straight away. That includes any bystanders who may be showing signs of shock.
Call a lawyer
It does no harm to speak to a lawyer. If you use one that has a 24/7 helpline they will quickly guide you regarding how to behave at the scene. What to say, what not to say, how to gather evidence and how to carry out other vital tasks. They will help you as much as possible in the hopes that you will hire them to assist you with your claim. As a result, many firms do not charge anything for that initial phone call.
Collect everyone’s details
Do your best to get the contact details of anyone who witnessed the incident as well as those of passengers. When you do this make a note of the licence plates and ask for their insurance details. Noting down their policy number will also prove helpful.
If it is safe for you to do so, take some photos. Or, ask a friend who lives close by to come to the scene and do it for you. The police will also take photos, but it never does any harm to have some of your own. This short article explains the best way to do that.
Think before you speak
It is very important that you co-operate fully with the police. But, make sure that you do not inadvertently take the blame for the accident.
You need time to sit down and think about what happened and remember things properly. There is a good chance that when you do this you will see things differently. In time, the full facts will emerge. The physical evidence and what others saw will make it clear who was to blame. If you did make errors that caused the accident, your lawyer will explain how and when to reveal that.