Experiencing a car accident can be stressful and scary. However, it's important to keep your cool after an accident and protect yourself legally. There are numerous things you need to make sure you do in response to a car accident so that you don't overlook any of your obligations or leave yourself open to the possibility of having compensation for accident damages sought from you unfairly.
The Immediate Aftermath of the Accident
You need to react properly to a car accident right away to avoid making mistakes that could come to bite you down the road. The following are some things you absolutely must do right after an accident:
Stop and communicate with the other driver or drivers involved: It is a legal responsibility for any motorist to stop, get out of the vehicle, and communicate with any other driver they were involved with in the accident. If you drive off after an accident- even one that is not severe- you could potentially face charges as a result.
Make sure there are no injuries and have any injuries attended to: The number one priority after a vehicle accident is to deal with any injuries that have resulted. You need to verify that no one in your vehicle has been injured. Then, you need to verify that no one in any other vehicles has been injured. If there are injuries that require medical attention, it's essential to call 911 and request an ambulance immediately.
Do not say anything that could be construed as an apology or an admission of fault: One of the most important things to remember is to be careful what you say after you get involved in a car accident. Any statement you make- especially if it's to a police officer putting together an accident report- could go down and writing and be used against you down the road. While you should answer any questions truthfully and give requested information, you should never let an "I'm sorry" slip even if you aren't meaning to sound like you're admitting fault for the accident.
Exchange information with the other driver or drivers: There are several pieces of information you need to get from the driver you've been involved in an accident with. You also need to provide your own information to the driver. You'll need to get the other driver's name, contact details, and insurance information. You'll want to find out what insurance company provides coverage for the driver and what the driver's policy number is.
Take contact information from any witnesses: It's always a good idea to look around and see if there's anyone who witnessed the accident. If there is, you might want to ask them for their contact details. Witness testimony may be able to back up your side of the story if you need to legally defend yourself as a result of the consequences of the accident.
Take pictures of the accident scene: In many situations, it's helpful to take pictures of the accident damages and the accident scene. Pictures clearly show what type of damage each of the involved vehicles experienced. They can also show any hazards or situations that may have caused the accident.
Contact the police: Contacting the police after an accident is generally recommended if there was damage to any of the vehicles involved. While you don't absolutely have to contact the police if there were no injuries, a police report regarding the accident could help you down the road if it indicates that you were not responsible for the accident.
Filing a Car Accident Claim
If your vehicle suffered damages, you'll either need to file a car accident claim with your insurance provider or get in touch with the other driver to cover damages to your vehicle if the other driver was at fault. Getting in touch with a Memphis personal injury attorney may be a good idea in situations where you're having trouble getting your insurance company to honor your claim or you're having trouble contacting another driver who was at fault in the accident for compensation on the damages you've suffered.
If you're dealing with problems related to a car accident insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit resulting from a car accident, you can contact GKBM for assistance. GKBM is a Memphis personal injury attorney with expertise dealing with the legal ramifications of a car accident.
Contact us today at (901) 466-2006 to schedule your free case evaluation. It’s easy with Montesi.