Oh no, this can’t be happening, you think to yourself in the instant you realize you’ve been in a car accident. What you do next can make all the difference in the world.
- Call 911
When involved in an accident, CALL 911 so the police will be dispatched even if you consider the accident minor. As nice as the other driver might seem, their story may change. The police have been trained to process car crashes and they will complete an accident report with a diagram of how the crash happened. They will also ensure the necessary information is exchanged between the parties and will arrange for a tow truck if required.
- Check to see if anybody is injured and you are in a safe location
If anybody is injured, 911 will provide for immediate assistance. If you are in a safe location, stay put until the police arrive. If you are not in a safe location, and if you can, drive your car to a safe location.
- Take photographs
A picture is worth a thousand words so take photos of all vehicles involved in the crash and the scene. Start out with a wide view so that there are reference points for what the photo is showing before taking close ups. It does no good to show a close up of crumpled metal or debris in the roadway if you can’t tell where the metal or debris is located or where it came from. Back up and get an overview reference picture before moving in for close ups. If your claim ultimately has to go to trial, pictures are priceless when shown to the jury that will decide your case. Take a quick picture of the other driver so you can identify them later if needed.
- Keep your mouth shut
Don’t admit fault at the scene, this is something that can be determined at a later date by your lawyer and the insurance companies. By admitting fault, you may make yourself financially responsible for the accident whether you actually are or aren’t.
- Think twice before saying, “I’m not hurt”
You may not feel hurt or injured at the scene, but just like you shouldn’t admit fault, you shouldn’t say you’re not injured. You might actually be injured and not yet realize it. If you feel injured, get checked out immediately. If you start feeling pain after the crash, don’t be a martyr. Make sure you seek medical treatment with a medical doctor WITHIN 14 DAYS OF THE CRASH. Failure to do so could reduce the insurance available to pay for your medical expenses.
If you are injured in a car crash as a result of someone else’s negligence, don’t go it alone. Call Marianne Howanitz, PA for your free consultation at 352-512-044. Remember, when in doubt, give us a shout!