What Should I Do After A Car Accident?
A car accident can leave you shaken and it can be difficult to think about what you need to do following a motor vehicle accident. The following is a general guide to the steps you should take after a car accident. Of course, the most effective means of protecting your interests is to seek legal counsel. To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at the Law Offices of Bou & Bou, in Bethesda, call 202-223-1934.
Do not leave the scene: You are required to stay at the scene of an accident. Failing to do so opens you up to the possibility of serious legal charges.
Determine if immediate medical attention is required: If you are able, check to see that your passengers, and the other driver and his or her passengers, are okay. If anyone is need of immediate medical attention, call for help.
Exchange information: It is important to gather the name, address, license plate number and insurance information from the other driver. Try to keep your emotions in check and remain polite. While it may feel appropriate to apologize, be aware that this may be used against you as an admission of liability. It is best to keep conversation brief and cordial.
Exchange information with witnesses: If there were any eyewitnesses to the accident, try to gather their names, phone numbers and addresses.
Take photographs: If you are able, take photographs of the scene, and of any damage to your vehicle and to other driver’s vehicle.
Fill out a police report: Unless the other driver is acting belligerent or appears under the influence, does not possess insurance, or if there are serious injuries, it is usually not necessarily to immediately call the police following an accident. Unless they happened to witness the accident, there is little they can do. However, you should fill out a police report following an accident. If the police are called to the scene, they usually have report forms on hand. If not, you can collect one from your local precinct.
Document your medical treatment: Note all health care professionals who have provided you with treatment or have referred you for treatment. Details the type of treatment you have received and any medications you have been prescribed. It is also useful to keep a record of how your injuries have impacted your daily life.
Contact your insurance provider: Tell your auto insurance carrier about your accident promptly. Be upfront about your injuries and what happened. If your insurance provider later finds out that you were dishonest about any aspect of the accident, they may be within their rights to deny you coverage.
But don’t say too much: While honesty is important when dealing with your insurance company, limit your interactions with representatives from the other driver’s insurance provider. It is also important to be skeptical of early settlement offers. Some injuries may not manifest themselves until months after the accident. If you have already accepted an offer, you will likely not be able to make any additional recovery should problems arise down the line.
Seek legal advice: Ultimately, the best way for you to protect your rights and interests is to seek advice from a qualified personal injury lawyer.
Contact Us For A Free Initial Consultation
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an auto accident, it is important to get legal help as soon as possible. Call 202-223-1934 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. We provide representation to people in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.