No matter how severe or minor, car accidents are no fun. If you are involved in a car accident, regardless of whether or not you are at fault, follow the steps below to minimize your risk and facilitate the best possible outcome.
Assess the Situation
Is anyone hurt, and does anyone need medical attention? If so, get help immediately. If no one is hurt and it appears there is only property damage, call the police to report the accident and stay where you are. Never leave the scene of an accident, or you could face criminal charges.
Protect the Area
If you can, pull off to the side of the road to a safe place. Put up cones or flares to keep other traffic away and direct them around the accident until the police arrive.
Even before the police get there, you can take pictures of everything. If you see witnesses nearby, get their contact information, and ask if they saw what happened. You might want to audiotape or videotape those conversations (with their permission, of course).
Give a Complete Report to the Police
Tell the police all the facts as you know them. However, do not admit guilt, and if you are not sure of something, be honest and tell them that. The police may have you come down to the station to fill out a formal report, or they may take one there at the scene.
Swap Information with the Other Driver
Be sure to get the other driver’s contact information and insurance company details. You may need these to get your automobile repaired. If they agree, take a picture of their driver’s license in case you need it later for legal purposes.
Contact Your Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are unsure of the circumstances or someone was seriously injured during the accident, be sure to contact your personal injury lawyer to ask for assistance with the next steps. It’s too important not to ask questions now before things escalate. Protect yourself with one quick phone call.