WHAT TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT TO PROTECT YOURSELF
It happened… you’ve just been in an auto accident, now what? Knowing what to do after a car accident can have a direct impact on your health, injuries, damages and claims. The single most important step is to remain calm. This may seem simple, but a car crash can take its toll on you emotionally, physically and financially. Please follow UHB Law Group’s recommendations to stay safe and protect yourself:
Check for injuries: Injuries may not be felt immediately, so check yourself visually. If you are injured, call 911 or have someone call for you. For serious injuries, try not to move and wait for help to arrive.
Check on others: If your injuries are not serious, check the passengers in your car. If necessary, call 911 or have someone call for you. Make sure you are always in a safe place!
Call 911: Whether you have been involved in a fender-bender or serious car crash, call 911. If the car is in a safe position and not hindering traffic, do not move the car and wait for the police to arrive. Check for smoke that may be coming from the vehicle. Turn off your engine and turn on your hazard lights to warn approaching vehicles. If necessary, use road flares or cones.
Exchange Information: After an automobile accident, there is a great deal of information to obtain. This includes:
1. The Driver: Name, address, phone number, insurance company and policy number, vehicle identification number, license number and plate number.
2. The Owner: If the driver’s name is different than the name of the insured, write down the owner’s/insured’s name and address and what the relationship is to the driver.
3. Witnesses: If possible, names and contact information of any witnesses, along with the name, badge number and contact information for all police officers at the scene.
Documentation: Technology really helps to document an auto accident. A picture is worth a thousand words. Use your phone (photos/videos) to document the accident. Take various angles and remember to include everything, including damages to both cars and injuries sustained. These photos/videos are often beneficial when showing location, car positioning and damages. And, email them to yourself! This is vital because clients have come to UHB Law Group with old or broken phones - or have lost a phone, and the photos/videos are never seen! In addition, it is important to note (record or write) as soon as possible:
1. Date/time of the accident
2. Weather, driving conditions and visibility
3. Accident address with nearest cross street
4. Direction you were traveling, as well as cars involved
5. Sketch of the accident scene
Accident Report: Ask the responding police officer where you can get a copy of the Accident Report. If a police officer was unable to come to the scene, proceed to the nearest police station and file a report.
Contact your insurance company or agent: This starts the claims process.
If you’ve been involved in an automobile accident or car crash and have sustained injuries, please contact UHB Law Group of Monmouth County. Our goal is for you to heal, as we act on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation.