It is inevitable that car accidents happen. Even with proper safety precautions, accidents happen daily. With hope, they won’t include you or a loved one, but they are, however, accidents. And the worst part is that they’re unpredictable.
While no one expects to be in an accident, it’s important to be prepared in the event that one occurs.
The following is an important list of steps to follow immediately after being involved in a motor vehicle accident:
STAY WHERE YOU ARE. State law requires that you not leave the scene of an accident.
TAKE NECESSARY SAFETY MEASURES. Use flags, flares, etc to make yourself visible to other drivers and prevent further accidents.
SEEK PROMPT MEDICAL ATTENTION. Make sure that any and all injured parties receive medical attention right away. If you have any symptoms, be sure to call for an ambulance and paramedics immediately. Not only will quickly seeking help protect your health, it will help to document the injury.
ALERT THE AUTHORITIES. Contact the State, local or city police immediately after an accident. Give law enforcement officials the facts but do not admit responsibility.
IDENTIFY OTHER DRIVER. Be sure to take note of the name, address, phone number and insurance information of the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. Once you have identified the other driver, verify that their license in current and that the registration number matches the license plate number on the vehicle.
GET INFORMATION FROM WITNESSES. Obtain the names, addresses, phone numbers and comments/statements from all people who saw the accident occur.
DOCUMENT DETAILS OF INCIDENT. Take note of the weather, road and lighting conditions at the time of the accident. Also be sure to record the time that the accident occurred and measure the length of the skidmarks/draw a diagram of the scene.
KEEP A RECORD OF INJURIES. Take photos of any bodily injuries and vehicle damage. Make a note of all related details. Take as many pictures as possible from varying angles and distances to capture the accident scene, damage to cars, nearby road signs and landmarks, skid marks, debris in the road, and all other pertinent evidence. Keeping a disposable camera in your glove compartment is also a good idea.
CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY AND SEEK LEGAL REPRESENTATION. Be sure to do this in a timely manner after a motor vehicle accident as delay may affect your rights and your adequate access to justice.
Car accidents are often unavoidable and can be devastating. Each and every day, Mainers suffer personal injuries in serious motor vehicle accidents. When an unexpected accident occurs, it can strike anyone. By following the aforementioned guidelines you will be prepared and informed of what to do in the event of a car accident.