Being involved in a motor vehicle accident is a shocking and traumatic experience, no matter how extensive the damage. Your vehicle might have been written off, requiring you to purchase a replacement, and you may even have sustained extensive physical damage yourself or to your passengers. Besides all of this, there is the psychological damage to consider too. It can be hard to know what to do in the heat of the moment so, to help prepare you in the eventuality, here is what to do if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Contact a lawyer
Car accidents often result in a number of high costs that you may not be able to afford. You might have to replace a car that has been destroyed in the collision or require extensive surgery resulting in requiring time off work for an extended period. If the accident was not your fault, a personal injury lawyer like Brown and Crouppen can help you get the compensation you are entitled to cover the huge financial costs of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Contact your lawyer as soon as possible after the accident for further legal advice.
Determine the extent of damage and contact the emergency services
In the immediate aftermath of the accident, you should check to see if anyone needs urgent medical assistance and determine the extent of damage to the vehicles involved. You should then contact the emergency services if required and the police. Resist the urge to move the vehicles until the police arrive at the scene. They are needed to help gather evidence about the series of events preceding the accident and determine culpability.
Avoid conversing with the other party
Your emotions will have been jolted by the accident, and as such, it is understandable if you say things without thinking. You might, for instance, try to establish a sense of camaraderie with the other party in your relief that no one has been hurt. However, you should try to avoid being drawn into conversation with the other party, instead only speaking to exchange insurance details. This is because if the accident goes to court, the most innocuous comment could be taken as evidence of your personal liability in the accident and admitting fault. You should try to only discuss the accident with the police, medical attendants, and your lawyers and insurance providers.
Obtain the correct information
Following the accident, you will need the correct information in order to file an insurance claim. You will need certain information about the other party involved in the accident, including their name and contact details, insurance details, and the license plate number and vehicle description of their car. Ensure to obtain a motor vehicle accident report form from your local police station to make it easier to collect the necessary information. You should also consider taking clear photographs of any damage sustained to your vehicle for insurance purposes.