What To Do After An Auto Accident
If you are in an automobile accident, do not make a bad situation worse. Remember to keep calm and to follow some basic rules.
1. Stop your car
Most states require that you stop your car to determine whether there is property damage or physical injury caused by the accident. If there is damage or injury, you must provide your license and insurance information to the other party.
2. Prevent further accidents
Set out flares or reflectors to warn approaching vehicles of the accident. Be careful not to cause further injuries by failing to warn approaching vehicles.
3. Help injured persons
Provide assistance to injured persons by calling the local or State Police and requesting an ambulance and medical assistance. Try to report your location as accurately as possible. Do not move the injured person, unless there is an immediate danger from fire or traffic.
4. Do not move your vehicle
As much as possible, try not to move the automobile or other objects unless they interfere with traffic. It is important that the police see exactly how the accident happened, in order to establish liability.
5. Call the police
It is best to call the police, even if there are no serious injuries. The police provide an official police report describing how the accident occurred. This police report may be very important to protect your rights regarding liability claims. You should be sure that the police note all damage to your automobile and, additionally, note any physical injuries you have as a result of the accident. Make sure that the facts on the official Police report are accurately reported.
6. Obtain the names and addresses of other driver and all witnesses
Be sure to get the other driver’s name, address and driver’s license number. Be sure to write down the license plate number, and make and color of the vehicle. Also, be sure to get the name, address and phone number of all witnesses to the accident. If any witnesses refuse to provide information, be sure to write down their license plate number and the make and color of their vehicles.
7. Provide information to the other driver
Provide the other driver with your name, address, insurance company and driver’s license number. Under no circumstances should you admit fault or offer to settle this matter out of court. Anything you say will be used against you and may violate the terms of your insurance policy. Do not attempt to settle this case off the record.
8. Notify your insurance company promptly
As soon as possible, you should contact your insurance company and report the accident. They will request brief information regarding the date, day and time of the accident from you, and the nature and extent of damage.
9. Consult a physician
If you are in an automobile collision, you should consult a physician as soon as possible if you believe you have physical injuries. Even injuries which may seem minor at first can have very severe effects over time.
After the Accident
- Call your insurance agent and report the accident.
- Take pictures of your vehicle and the other vehicle involved (if possible). The police report or investigating police officer can tell you where they have been towed.
- Take pictures of the location where the accident happened.
- Beware of claims investigators from the other driver’s insurance company calling on the phone and asking questions or requesting telephone-recorded interviews. Speak to a lawyer before giving any statements.
- Also beware of insurance companies who call or send you brochures or tell you that you don’t need a lawyer – It’s against the law in Connecticut. Statistics show that claimants who are represented received two or three times the amount of unrepresented claimants.
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