Stop. Do not drive away or leave the scene of an accident. There are a number of reasons why this is important; however one of the most serious is that you might be subject to criminal prosecution if you leave prior to the authorities coming.
Call 911. If anyone has been injured in the accident, if the collision damage appears to be substantial or if any of the parties involved could be found guilty of a criminal offence (e.g. drinking and driving), call emergency services. Call 911 and have them help you dispatch the appropriate professionals such as paramedics or police. If the damages sustained are minimal, it is still important to call your local police for instructions on how to proceed. They are always happy to help.
Don’t move. It is critical that any injured parties are not to be removed by anyone untrained following the accident as this might aggravate their injuries. It is equally important not to move the vehicles from where they are until directed to do so by police. The police always have your best interest in mind, and will walk you through exactly what to do and where to move your vehicle.
Pictures. Use your phone or a digital camera to take as many pictures of the accident scene as possible, including where the cars are stopped, the vehicles themselves, surrounding area and any additional property damage. It is important to document as many specific details about the scene of the accident as possible. It is best not to depend on your memory in this scenario, as your mind might not be able to process or recall all of the exact details.
Witnesses. Identify witnesses and make sure to get names and contact information (including email, addresses and cell numbers) of any witnesses to the accident. People can be very kind and helpful when an accident has taken place. Don’t be afraid to ask for their information.
Information. Exchange driver’s license, car insurance and plate information with all parties. You can take pictures of the documents with your cell phone. Everyone is shaken up after an accident, whether at fault or not. Don’t take out your frustration on your fellow driver.
Liability. Do not admit fault or take responsibility for the accident to anyone. As much as you might want to express regret or sympathy, do so without admitting fault.
Insurance company. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident.
Doctor. Contact your family doctor or go to your local walk-in clinic as soon as possible, inform them that you were in a car accident and that you sustained injuries. Be sure to list all of your injuries from head to toe. No matter how minor your injuries may be, it is always best to divulge each one, for the sake of your health.
File. Keep a file of all documents related to the accident including a copy of the accident report and any correspondence from insurance companies, lawyers, and assessment centres. Again, don’t rely on your memory for everything as it will become overwhelming.
Know your rights. Contact a Bergel Magence personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer’s job is to protect your rights and make sure that you are getting all of the benefits you are entitled to and the full compensation you deserve. It is important that you hire an experienced lawyer and allow them to communicate with the various insurance companies on your behalf, to protect your rights.