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Automobile Accident Information

Automobile Accident Information

Automobile accidents can be trying times and it is important to know what to do and when to do it to protect yourself and others. Drivers can save themselves a lot of pain and suffering down the road the more prepared they are about what to do after and accident.

The most important initial reaction after an automobile accident is to stay at the scene and verify everyone involved is not in immediate danger. Leaving to get assistance may be construed as a hit and run which could potentially be a crime so be sure to stay put. Call the police if the other driver is upset or possibly injured. If the situation is not serious and only a fender-bender it may only be necessary to exchange auto insurance information.

Serious accidents may require police involvement due to the nature of the accident for both legal and insurance purposes. Sometimes a police report will be required and photographs taken to determine who may be at fault when insurance companies allocate funds to repair vehicles or make individuals whole financially or physically. If you are unsure how serious the accident may be call the police non-emergency number and let trained professionals determine the best course of action.

If it is determined that the police are necessary be sure not to touch either vehicle which includes removing debris or attempting to move the vehicles to the side of the road. It is possible, especially in serious accidents, that legal proceedings may be initiated and all available information and documentation will need to accurately reflect what transpired to determine culpability. Try to document as much information as you can yourself. This can include taking cellphone camera images as well as recording voice memos and taking digital notes. Be sure to get the other driver's personal contact information, note the time of day as well as the location such as an intersection or major streets.

At no point should you admit that you are at fault. Try to keep all conversation to a bare minimum as anything said may be used against you in the future. Trying to be friendly to mitigate the situation could backfire causing additional financial and legal problems. It is also important to never comment on whether or not you're injured as some injuries may present themselves days or weeks later and may require medical assistance to determine the severity. Injuries such as whiplash or back pain may not be immediately obvious but may be relevant for insurance purposes.

Separate from calling the police, it is also important to collect any contact information from witnesses on the scene such as names and phone numbers. Insurance companies will often corroborate certain pieces of information to determine culpability and appropriate financial payments.

The most important thing to do in an automobile accident is to stay calm and make sure everyone is safe. Overreacting or getting upset will only make a bad situation worse for everyone involved. Be sure to call your insurance company as soon as possible to provide all available information, including a police report number and towing company. The sooner you get the process started the sooner you can be made whole again by getting a temporary rental car, your vehicle in the repair shop or a check if your car is totaled to put down on a new vehicle.

Image by: Thomas Hawk