Taking some basic steps after a car accident can make the difference between a legal claim that fails and one that provides fair compensation for you and your family. Here are some suggestions for first steps.
- First, be sure all parties involved are safe and out of danger. Then move your car if it is causing a hazard; otherwise leave it where it is and turn on hazard lights.
- Call 911 to immediately report the accident to police, even if you think the damage is minor. Stay close to your vehicle until police arrive.
- Remain calm and polite, but do not apologize or admit fault.
- Gather pertinent information from other driver and any witnesses.
- Photograph vehicle damage and any visible injuries. Write down your recollections about the event.
- Get the name and badge number of all responding officers, and ask for police report.
- Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries, even if you think they are minor.
- Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.
- Report the accident to your insurer. Do not give a signed or recorded statement to your insurer before talking with your lawyer.
- Do not discuss the accident with any representative of the other driver’s insurance company before talking with your lawyer.
What to Do After a Car Accident