The first step after being involved in a car accident is to stop the car immediately and safely and turn on the emergency hazard lights. Do a self-check to rule out any injuries and call in medical emergencies if the need arises. However, it’s vital to protect yourself legally, especially in cases where the party at fault party is not readily apparent. Take necessary steps to protect your interests if you’ve suffered an injury and if the accident has caused damage to your property. Some of the immediate steps to take are listed below.
After stopping the vehicle immediately after the collision, don’t move the car unless it’s blocking traffic unless it’s in a dangerous place like in front of train tracks. In this case, take necessary photos from all angles to help determine the position of the cars during the accident better. Only move the vehicle after the police have documented details, as it helps determine the faulty party.
Don’t Leave the Scene
Once an accident occurs, the accident scene becomes an essential focal point, and leaving the scene is seen as fleeing the scene of the accident, which leads to criminal implications. If you’re hurt, wait for the first emergency response team to get the necessary checks before being given authorization by the police to leave the scene.
Get Insurance Information
Get the details of the other party involved in the accident. Obtain the driver’s name, address, and phone number. However, if the other party is unable to provide the information immediately, the license plate and insurance information are sufficient enough for your lawyers to bring a suit against the party. Some companies, such as The Radmore Law Firm, know that you should still try to collect as much witness information as possible and record names and contact information.
Do Not Settle
When the accident seems minor, parties may want to settle out of pocket immediately. Unfortunately, after the agreement and the adrenaline goes down, injuries not previously seen sometimes become noticeable. Some parties can go ahead and claim it as a hit-and-run case, placing the blame squarely on you. When reaching an agreement, contact your insurance company immediately and your lawyer to have everything law-bound.
Never Concede Fault
When asked questions on the scene regarding the accident, refer the parties involved to your lawyer. Do not sign or accept liability. When speaking to the police, stick to the facts and avoid giving personal opinions to avoid giving incriminating statements.
Contact your insurance agent and report the accident to avoid the insurance not covering the accident. Cooperate with your own insurance company and do not speak to the other driver’s insurance company directly but through your attorney.
Author information: Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University and now writes articles about health, business, family, and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.