If you are involved in a car accident, there are certain things that you should always do. Be mindful of your priorities. Below are 5 things that you must do after a car accident, and they are primarily focused on first ensuring that everyone is receiving the medical care they need and then preserving your legal rights.
1) If you need medical treatment, get it. If you know someone else involved in the accident has been injured, make sure that they receive medical care. It is intuitive, but the health and well being of everyone involved in the accident is the highest priority following an accident.
2) Call 911. There are plenty of reasons to call emergency personnel and police after a wreck. A lot of people think that if no one is injured, the police do not need to be called. This is a bad idea. You need documentation regarding how the accident occurred, and if you have injuries, it is important that your medical condition be documented by emergency personnel. Calling the police in this situation is a way to prove how the car accident happened to your insurance company. There could certainly be a case where the other driver involved in a wreck with you does not have updated insurance, have insurance at all, has active arrest warrants, or there is actually someone in need of medical attention. If you get into a wreck with someone without insurance and you did not call the police, there is not a significant way to prove that the wreck happened and you are stuck with a dilemma. So always call the police.
3) Do not discuss fault for the accident. There is a time and a place to discuss fault for the accident. The roadside immediately following an accident is not the time or the place. A very common accident is being rear-ended. Usually, the person “following too closely” is the one who gets the ticket. But if you were driving the car in the front and you weren't paying attention, which in turn leads you to break really hard, it could very easily be seen as your fault. However, if you don't admit that it was your fault, the law can take your side and the person who was “following too closely” will most likely get the ticket. Admitting it was your fault could also lead you to a door of possibilities of a lawsuit, extra fines, or other penalties.
4) Some simple documentation of the accident can go a long way. Don't forget to properly document every bit of the wreck. You want to think about how exactly the wreck took place from what you were doing before the crash to the moment after. This has to be very accurate for law enforcement. Also don't forget to get the other driver's name, address, phone number, insurance information, car make, car model, color of their vehicle, and pictures if possible. All of this can come in handy during the process after the wreck. Also always remember to have your own license, registration, and insurance information at all times.
5) Never leave the scene of an accident without speaking with law enforcement. Even if everyone seems alright from what you can see, and there's no damage to the cars after a minor wreck, you should never leave the scene. You always have to stop to check on everyone involved, exchange insurance information, and report to law enforcement. If you do not do this, you will have committed a crime.
If you have questions regarding a car wreck, contact a qualified car accident lawyer at The Sessions Law Firm today.