A car accident is a frightening and disorienting experience. Even though serious bodily harm can occur hours or days later, the physical and mental effects of a crash can make it very difficult to focus on the things one needs to do to protect themselves and their best interests in the aftermath. With that in mind, the following are simple, easy-to-remember tips to keep in mind after a car accident.
Make Sure Everyone Is All Right and Safeguard the Scene
Before considering fault, damages, or liability, the first and most important thing is to make sure everyone involved in an accident is protected from physical harm. If anyone is in need of immediate medical attention, call 911 and request emergency assistance. Protect the scene of the accident from further collisions with road flares, reflective orange triangles, or by turning on at least one of the vehicle’s hazard lights.
Take Pictures of the Accident
A few decades ago, it was rare to come across an auto accident case where photos were taken immediately after the accident. Now, however, just about everyone has a digital camera in their pocket. Taking pictures of the accident can be extremely helpful to an insurance company, as well as an attorney should the accident lead to litigation. Photograph the vehicle damage, tire marks, road and weather conditions, and anything else visible that may have factored into the crash.
Call the Police
If 911 has been called because of injuries, it’s a safe bet that the police will also arrive at the scene of the accident. Even if there are no injuries, however, the police should still be brought to the scene. Insurance companies may require a police report to accompany any claim, and the police will also be helpful in protecting the scene of the accident to prevent any further collisions.
While insurance information will usually be contained in a police report, it’s always a good idea to take this down as well to ensure accuracy. Get the contact info and insurance details of the driver by asking to see their insurance card. Take a picture of the card, if possible.
Nobody plans on getting into an accident, and it’s hard to be truly prepared. However, experience in dealing with the legal implications of auto accidents goes a long way toward salvaging the best outcome. The trial-ready lawyers at Jacobowitz & Gubits, LLP have decades of experience litigating personal injury cases in the state of New York, including motor vehicle accidents. Contact our firm today at 845-778-2121.