Our auto accident attorneys know that a car accident can be one of the scariest moments in your life. Your life may flash before your eyes, and all you want is for everyone involved to be safe. If you are involved in a car accident, there are a number of steps you should take.
Before the Accident
If you can help it, our auto accident attorneys would suggest buying a first-aid kit for your car to help in case of emergency. This may include bandages, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, petroleum jelly, gauze, cotton balls, ice packs or hot packs, among other useful items. Being prepared can help you to remain calm after an accident, when chaos is all around you.
It’s important that you have the necessary identification in your car, including your license, vehicle registration, car insurance, health insurance, and emergency contacts in your glove box. You should check to make sure everything is up to date and that none of your pieces of identification are expired.
After the Accident
Immediately following an accident, it is important that you are out of harm’s way. If possible, move your car to a safe area, on the side of the road or out of the way of other vehicles.
If anyone is injured, you should call 911 for an ambulance and you should call the police.
Be sure to swap information with the other vehicle’s owner, including name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and any other information you think you should know. You should also take note of the other vehicle’s make, model, year, license plate number, and the driver’s insurance information. Avoid saying, “I’m sorry,” as the accident may not have been your fault; apologizing could be construed as admission of fault and could be used against you.
It’s important that you take pictures of the accident, vehicles, and any injuries that may have occurred. If you are physically fine, take pictures of the scene. If you are injured, have someone take pictures of your injuries and the scene in case they need to be used as evidence.
It’s important to ask for the name, ID number, phone number, and report number from the police officer who may be present. This officer may be useful if there is a disagreement on why the accident occurred.
File a Claim
Once everything has calmed down a bit, make sure to call your insurance company to begin filing your claim. If you believe you need a lawyer, don’t hesitate to call the auto accident attorneys at Lee, Gurney & Hess to begin working on your claim.