Car accidents happen in a flash. One moment you’re going about your day, running errands or heading to work, then you’re unexpectedly caught off guard. Needless to say, most folks become a bit overwhelmed and confused. It’s important to know ahead of time, what you should and shouldn’t do if you have the misfortune of finding yourself in this predicament.
Here are some “DO”s and “DON’T”s to remember:
- Do immediately call for medical help if someone is injured.
- Do call the police. They will document the accident and gather facts for legal purposes. If you don’t call the police, it will become your word against the other driver’s.
- Do report the accident to your insurance agent as soon as possible.
- Do exchange information with the other parties involved, such as address and phone number. If it’s a car accident get the license plate number; make, model and year of the vehicle; driver’s insurance information; car registration number; driver’s license number.
- Do get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses. Keep in mind, if it was a car accident, any passengers involved in the accident are NOT witnesses.
- Do take pictures of the accident, damage to the vehicle, and the area around the accident.
- Do collect any physical evidence that could have caused the accident.
- Do gather details from the accident: draw a diagram of the accident; note the date and time; the type of weather; the location of the accident–including any landmarks.
- Do call an attorney.
- Don’t panic. Remain calm and call for help.
- Don’t leave the scene of the accident.
- Don’t discuss the accident with anyone and blame anyone, including yourself.
- Don’t speak to anybody from the at-fault person’s insurance company before consulting a lawyer. If you give a statement, it may be used against you in the future.
- Don’t sign any papers given to you by an insurance company or agree to a settlement of your case until you get legal advice.
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