We’ve all been stuck in traffic because of an accident, but do you know what to do if you are the one involved in the collision? Here are a few tips to keep in mind in the event that you are in an accident.
- Call the police. While this tip doesn’t apply to every accident, if there is any bodily injury or the damage to one or more vehicles is so severe that it (or they) cannot be moved from the roadway to the shoulder, then the police need to be called. Police officers can investigate the cause of the accident, look for any signs on the road that can help explain what happened (such as tire marks from an attempted screeching halt), and assist with any injured persons or damaged property. A police report may also be issued, which can help ascribe fault to one driver or another.
- Do not admit fault. While this tip is really more of a “do not” than a “do,” it’s so important that it must be included. Any statements that you make to drivers or passengers, police officers, or any other entity assisting after the accident can be used against you. It’s human nature to want to apologize to the occupants of the other vehicle (if you were responsible) and make sure that they are unhurt, but under no circumstances should you admit that the accident was your fault.
- Notify your insurance company. Insurance companies exist to aid vehicle owners in times of distress, and being in an accident certainly counts. Your insurance provider will take the lead in getting your car repaired, filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, and representing you in the event of a lawsuit related to your accident.
- Take photos. The easiest way to prove the damage that was caused by an accident is to take photos. This is something that your insurance company will do when an adjuster is dispatched to review the damage. The other driver’s insurance company may also want to take pictures of your vehicle and inspect it after your insurance company has had a chance to do the same.
- See a doctor. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort after being involved in an accident, it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. There are numerous injuries that may exist without fully manifesting themselves, and you need to make sure that you have come away from the accident healthy (or at least as healthy as you were before). Medical and treatment records may be used to prove your claim in the event you suffer an injury.
This is a brief overview of what to look out for in the event you are involved in a traffic accident, and if you have further questions or need assistance please contact Andrew Ritholz.