The scene of a motor vehicle accident gets active very quickly. At least one other vehicle will be at the scene and police and paramedics arrive in short order. You or somebody else at the scene might be injured. All of the activity and confusion at the scene might affect your recollection. You will likely be called upon to give your version of the accident sometime in the future. Here are some rules to help you do the right thing:
Remain at the scene
Don’t leave the scene of an accident until police tell you that you can leave. That last thing you want is to be charged with a hit-and-run when the accident wasn’t even your fault. The law requires you to give your contact and insurance information to the police and/or any others involved in the accident.
See if anybody was hurt
Check to see if anybody involved in the accident was hurt, including yourself. If you or somebody else was hurt, tell the dispatcher to send an ambulance when you call 911.
Don’t talk about who was at fault
The scene of an accident isn’t when and where you want to discuss fault; the situation is already emotional. You don’t want to say anything that might be used against you in the future. The investigating officer will want your version of events.
Get medical help
If you’re experiencing any pain as a result of the crash, get to an emergency room as soon as possible. You want all injuries documented in medical records. The best way to do that is to be transported to an emergency room by paramedics. They’ll make medical records detailing the symptoms and complaints of pain from the time they arrive on the scene until you leave the emergency room. Your injuries will be well documented. If you’re not admitted to the hospital, follow all discharge instructions. Follow up with your primary care physician immediately.
Notify your insurer
You have a contractual duty to notify your insurer of an accident as soon as practicable. You also have a duty to cooperate with your insurer. DO NOT PROVIDE A STATEMENT TO ANY INSURANCE COMPANY (YOURS OR ANY OTHER PERSON’S INVOLVED) REGARDING THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE ACCIDENT UNTIL YOU HAVE FIRST HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK WITH AN INJURY ATTORNEY. Do not be fooled—you are not “required” to provide a statement to an insurance company, although they may say otherwise.
Don’t give anybody else information
Insurers for anybody else involved in the accident might want you to sign statements. One way or another, they’ll try to reduce fault and financial responsibility. You’re under no legal obligation to give them any information whatsoever. Don’t give them any information, but tell them to call your attorney.
After you’ve notified your insurer of the accident, contact us and place your injury claim in our hands. For many years, we’ve been helping people like you who have been injured in accidents. Our preparation and courtroom abilities are highly respected by insurers. Call us today or fill out our online contact form, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.