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Three Things to Do Immediately after an Automobile Accident

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Nobody wakes up in the morning expecting to be injured in a car accident, but knowing what to do in the moments following an accident can save you time, money, and heartache. An accident scene tends to be chaotic, so if you have a plan in place and know what you will do should you encounter an emergency, taking action is easier. It is a good idea to have a copy of the action steps in your vehicle to use a reference should the unexpected occur.

What are the three most important things you should do following an accident?

1. Survey the Damage and Contact Emergency Services

Depending on the extent of your injuries, you will want to assess the damage. First and foremost, if anyone is injured, call an ambulance. If there are no injuries, you should assess the damage to your vehicle. Remain calm and move out of traffic, if possible. Once in a safe area, survey your vehicle for damage. If the other driver(s) attempts to engage you in conversation, avoid sharing too much information. You can show general concern, but avoid commenting on what happened and accepting any responsibility for what has occurred, even if you believe it was your fault. If anyone in the area witnessed the accident, ask for their name and contact information.

2. Contact Law Enforcement

It is always advisable to contact law enforcement. If you choose not to contact police, record the other driver’s name, insurance information, phone number, license plate number, and any other information he or she is willing to provide.

In most cases, you will want a legal accident report on file. While waiting for police to arrive at the scene, make notes about the event and if possible, take photos of the vehicles and the area. Provide the police with the details of the accident and answer any of their questions. If you are given a citation and you believe you were not at fault, do not raise objections. There will be time later to dispute the details of the event with law enforcement and the other driver.

You will also need to file a report with your insurance company as soon as possible. Do not assume that your insurance company will not find out about the accident if you do not call. Both law enforcement and the other driver will have access to your insurance information and can report the accident if you do not.

3. Contact an Attorney

Finally, you will want to contact an attorney as soon as possible. This is especially true if you are injured in the accident. Medical care is expensive and if you are not responsible for the accident, you should not be held financially responsible for your injuries and the upheaval they cause in your life. An attorney can also help you protect your rights if you are at fault for the accident.

How you handle the immediate aftermath of an accident is an important part of the ultimate outcome. If you have been injured in an accident or you have questions about auto accidents and the law, contact Miller and Steiert, P.C. to schedule a consultation.

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