happens so quickly. One minute you're driving down the highway and then
suddenly…you've been in an
auto accident. Each year over 6 million motor vehicle accidents occur in the
Unfortunately, with a number like this there's a chance that someone you
know may be involved
in an accident. Do you know what to do after the fact to protect your
rights? Follow these steps
to ensure the aftermath goes as smoothly as possible.
your car. You are legally required to stop at the scene or near the sc
ene of an accident. Failure to stop could result in a hit-and-run citation
and much harsher penalties. If necessary, move your car out of the way of
other traffic to prevent another accident. Otherwise, let your car sit
where it is located. Have someone put out flares or reflectors to warn
the police and call an ambulance if necessary. Once the officer arrives,
cooperate with the officer by advising him or her of the facts. If
you receive medical attention make sure that emergency medical technicians
clearly document your symptoms and injuries to avoid any problems
information with the other driver. Do not make any statements to the other driver about the cause of the accident. Simply obtain the name, address, driver's
license number, license plate number and the registration number of
the other vehicle involved. Collect all insurance information including
company name, address and policy number.
down the names and addresses of all witnesses who may have information
about the accident.
the time of day, lighting conditions (day, dusk, night), road conditions
and the location of the accident to help determine liability. Photo or video of the accident scene may help you explain the way the accident occurred. It may
help to later take photos or video from all angles of the damage to
your vehicle and keep a copy of the damage report. If you suffer any
injuries, keep a log indicating your pain and any financial losses.
arrest at the accident scene of anyone involved in the accident doesn't
necessarily indicate liability. Statements made by these parties could be
used as an admission, so it is important to consult with a lawyer before
making any statements, especially to insurance personnel.
- Refrain from posting any photos or comments on Facebook or any other social media site, since any photos or comments may be harmful if taken out of context.
inform your insurance agent or company of the accident. Failure to
do so may affect your rights. Provide a statement only to your own
insurance company and not to any other insurance carriers.
the accident results in serious injury or death, consult an attorney
who handles personal injury cases.