Not a day goes by where there isn’t a slowdown or traffic jam on New Jersey roadways because of an automobile accident. If you unfortunately are the one who is involved in the accident, there are a few steps you should take to ensure your safety and well-being. We’ll outline a few of these steps below.
At the scene of the crash
While injured victims may not be able to follow all the steps below, it can be a big help if they or someone else can:
- Check for injuries and call 911: If you or anyone in your car is injured, call 911. If you cannot call 911, ask someone else to do so. If you are seriously injured, do not move until medical personnel arrive.
- Pull to the side: If your vehicle is causing a hazard in the roadway and you are safely able to do so, move your vehicle to the side of the road, turn off the engine and turn on the hazard lights if. If you cannot safely move your vehicle, ensure that you and your passengers are in a safe location.
- Call 911: This will initiate medical care if necessary and an investigation by police. Law enforcement will create an accident report which will document injuries, who is likely at fault, property damage, and other details that will be the basis of an injury claim. Stay at the scene until help arrives.
- Exchange Information: When safe to do so, exchange information with the other driver including obtaining the other driver’s full name, address and phone number, insurance company and policy number, driver’s license number, make and model of vehicle. It is usually easier to use your phone to take a picture of the other driver’s license, insurance card and vehicle license plate.
- Gather information: If safe to do so, use your phone to take pictures of any damage caused by the accident as well as the crash scene. If possible, obtain name and contact info of any witnesses.
- Do not discuss the accident: The aftermath of a collision will likely be emotionally charged, so try to remain calm and focus on the facts. Do not discuss the accident with anyone other than medical and law enforcement personnel.
After leaving the crash site
- Call your insurance company: Do this as soon as possible to report the collision and to set up a claim for payment of future medical expenses.
- Do not speak with any other insurance company: The other driver’s insurance company may contact you to obtain a statement and perhaps even propose a settlement. Do not speak with any insurance company other than your own as doing so may adversely affect your potential claims against the other driver.
- Seek medical treatment: Do what is best for yourself medically. Seek medical help if you are experiencing physical symptoms, even if your initial injuries did not warrant an ambulance ride from the accident scene. A thorough examination by a medical professional can identify less obvious injuries and confirm injuries that manifest after leaving the crash site, including concussions, damage to internal organs, back and neck injuries, and mental trauma.
- Get the accident report: This should be made available to the drivers by the law enforcement agency that responded to the scene.
- Contact an attorney: Being involved in an automobile accident often creates turmoil for the victim. An experienced personal injury attorney can assist in explaining your rights and in seeking compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and other damages caused by the accident on your behalf.
By taking the above steps, you can help protect yourself. In the event that you are injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident and need assistance, the attorneys at Britcher Leone, LLC, will guide you through the complex stages of your automobile accident claim to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.