You’ve just been in a car accident. You’re upset, nervous, and maybe even stunned. What are some do’s and don’t’s? What should you do after a car accident?
First and foremost, make sure everyone’s okay: the people in your car and the people in any other car. This is the most important thing to tell the 911 operator. Give information about the health and safety of the people involved in the accident.
Second, get out of danger if you or anyone else is blocking the road. If the cars are drivable, move to the side of the road and well away from any oncoming traffic. Accidents happen when people are standing on the side of the road. Please consider where you are and keep a safe distance from high-speed traffic.
Third — call the police and ensure a police report is made. In Philadelphia, they don’t necessarily come without an injury or safety issue. Police can be helpful to secure the road, control traffic, investigate the cause of the accident, facilitate the exchange of information, and issue an official report. If the police don’t appear, you’re required to report the accident at the local police district to preserve your rights under your insurance policy, so make sure you get an official report.
Fourth — when talking to other drivers involved in the accident, keep things brief. You should make sure everyone’s okay and exchange important contact information such as name, address, and insurance information, especially if the police don’t come. Other than that, don’t get into a discussion about the facts of the accident, what you were thinking, or what you are thinking. Don’t engage or interact with the other drivers when emotions are high you and you have an adrenaline rush after the accident. Always be polite and courteous, but you don’t want to say anything that can be used against you. Assume that anything said will be remembered and repeated in court.
Fifth, take pictures. Remember your smartphone has a camera. Capture as much evidence at the scene of the accident as possible. If you can, discreetly take pictures of the cars before they’re moved (if you can safety do so). Try to get the damages from your vehicle and the other vehicle. The more evidence that you could capture at the scene of the accident the better. It can go a long way in supporting your case if you have one.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, click the “Request Consultation” for a free case evaluation.