You Just Had A Motor Vehicle Accident!
First off, we are sorry to hear it. What follows is some information that will help.
Maybe you were the driver. Maybe you were a passenger in a multi-vehicle collision. Maybe you were a pedestrian knocked down by a moving vehicle.
Maybe, maybe . . . there are so many different possibilities. A motor vehicle accident can often leave you feeling a bit scattered so best to be prepared.
STAY AT THE SCENE
You should not leave the scene until it is appropriate to do so. Call 911.
ARE YOU THE DRIVER OR THE PASSENGER?
As the driver, make sure the car is no longer moving, shift it into park and turn off the engine. If you are the passenger, stay still to make sure that any movement has stopped. Get medical attention for anyone who may need it.
Talk to the drivers of any other vehicles involved in the accident. Get their names, phone numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers and insurance information. If you are involved in a multi-car accident, make sure that you obtain the insurance information for all of the vehicles involved. To the extent that you are able, you should be cordial and cooperative in determining that everyone is okay and when exchanging basic information.
Obtain the name and badge number of any responding officers.
Do not hesitate to use your cellphone camera. Take photos of the cars, any skid marks, and any other damaged property. Having photographic proof will assist your insurance company determine how much you should be compensated for the damages to your car. The points of impact and the extent of the impact may also affect any personal injury recovery which you seek.
YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
You must, must, must tell your insurance company, as soon as possible, that you have been involved in an accident. It is not difficult to obtain the police report from the responding department and you should do so in order to be consistent with the report or point out where it is inaccurate.
If you have been injured, you should seek immediate medical treatment. Make sure that every medical provider that you see understands that your injuries were the result of a motor vehicle accident.
DO YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY?
Did you sustain injuries? With the information outlined above, you should contact a qualified personal injury attorney. If someone you believe to be a qualified attorney does not talk to you on your very first visit about “serious injury”, you should seek another attorney.
You now have a good idea of what should be done at the scene of a motor vehicle accident and immediately thereafter. We all want to avoid them but, unfortunately, accidents do happen.
This is not intended to be legal advice. You should contact an attorney for advice regarding your specific situation.
Robert M. Lefland is Senior Counsel and primary attorney in charge of Personal Injury at J&G. He can be reached by calling 866.303.9595 toll free or 845.764.9656 and by email . He is available by appointment on Saturday’s. If you need his immediate attention, you can reach him on cell.