It is always a good idea to call the police even If you’re not feeling any pain to any part of your body at the scene. This is to document that the accident happened, where it happened, get a report of who was involved in the accident in case injuries develop later, and gather other important information. If you do not call the police the other side can deny that the accident happened perhaps which just makes things more difficult for you
When you call the police will need to provide them with your insurance card and registration and drivers license. So always keep those documents handy so that you can provide them upon request.
The police will ask you questions regarding how the accident occurred, and whether you were wearing a seatbelt. Really, they just want to know your version of how the accident occurred. They will take down information about the weather, road conditions, location of accident, and other important details about the drivers, vehicles, and the scene. All of this information will be included in the eventual Police Report.
If you are able to exit the vehicle and there are people who may have witnessed the accident take down their name number and address. Do NOT just assume that the police will. They may, but they may not. This is especially important where liability is not clear. For example, an intersection accident where there is a question of who have the light, stop sign or right of way
Do not start arguments with the other side or make any accusations. Leave it for the police to get your statements as to what happened. Most time an accident is just that. An accident. The driver may have been negligent; however, most people do not go around trying to get into accidents and making accusations will not help your situation at all. It might end up with you in some kind of an altercation.
If you are unable to exit because of injuries or pain stay in the car until the police and EMTs arrive.
Tell the police what happened in simple terms without explicit language. The officer will take down what you each said but they CANNOT judge fault as they were not there when the accident occurred, only after.
When the police ask you if you were injured Even if you’re not feeling any pain, but you were in shock, you should tell the police that you feel off and that you would like to get checked out by the hospital. Often times, soft tissue injuries such as neck and back issues do not start to bother you until later in the day or even the next day or several days later. So, you may not know if you are hurt right away. It is always better to get checked out just in case.
When the EMTs ask you what’s bothering you be honest and tell them every little ache and pain or funny sensation that you are having. Do not be embarrassed to mention even the smallest of concerns. If you are in shock, just say, “I am in shock and my whole body feels strange” or “Numb” or whatever is appropriate.
If you have somewhere to be and simply cannot go to the hospital, and you are able to drive your car from the scene, make sure that you have you are checked out by a medical professional as quickly as possible. If you are actually injured and there is what is looked at as a “gap in treatment“ juries and insurance adjusters will look at that as a reason to lowball or deny your claim
If you were able to exit the Car at the scene of the accident, take out your cellphone and take pictures. Take pictures of the damage to the other car. Take pictures of the intersection or roadway. Take pictures of the light or stop sign if applicable. Take pictures of the damage to your car. And take pictures of any skid marks, glass, or other debris on the roadway.
Report the accident to your insurance company as promptly as possible. Give them only as much information as they ask for, such as the information regarding the other car. Do not give them a statement about your injuries or about your theory of liability. If they ask, you can advise them that you would like to speak with an attorney first. Remember, anything that you say will be put into writing and can and will be used against you if you need to start an accident claim.
When you get to the hospital provide them with your no-fault insurance information. No-fault is the insurance that covers the vehicle in which you were situated either as a passenger or as a driver. So have that information available if you can.
There are often timelines and even deadlines for the submission of certain paperwork so after you’ve taken care of the above, promptly call a personal injury lawyer who can pick up where you left off and get you compensation.
Coming up next what to do in the event of a hit and run or when the other driver does not have enough insurance to adequately compensate for injuries.