What to Do After a Car Accident

July 18, 2019

The moments after you’ve been involved in a car accident can be understandably nerve rattling. However, the steps you take in the immediate aftermath are important not only for your own personal safety, but also for protecting you and ensuring the success of insurance claims and potential injury lawsuits.

Here is a quick overview of the steps you should take after you’ve been involved in a car accident. Reach out to a criminal defense attorney in Rockford, IL to learn more:

  • Get to safety:
    If your vehicle is capable of being operated, pull it over safely to the side of the road and out of traffic. Depending on the severity of the accident and type of collision, this may or may not be possible.
  • Check for injuries:
    Check yourself and any passengers in your vehicle to see if anyone sustained any injuries. Your first priority should be to assist anyone who is hurt.
  • Call for help:
    Summon the police to the scene, and if anyone was injured, make sure you call for medical attention as well. If there are bystanders in the area and you need some help while waiting for law enforcement and medical responders to arrive, don’t be shy about flagging them down.
  • Collect information:
    While waiting for police to arrive, go and talk to the other driver and collect basic information such as name, address, contact information, insurance policy information, driver’s license number, vehicle license plate and vehicle identification number. This information will be critical when processing an ensuing insurance claim.
  • Take photos:
    This is another step you can take while waiting for police to arrive, and even after they arrive and begin work on sorting out what happened. Take photos of the damage to both vehicles, being sure to get shots from several different angles and distances. Be sure to also get photos of any glass or debris strewn throughout the area, as well as the conditions of the site in general. Was the road slick? Was a stoplight malfunctioning? Did the accident take place in a construction zone? These are some of the kinds of conditions you’ll want to capture in photos.
  • Talk to police:
    When talking to police, answer their questions directly and make sure you stick to the facts. You don’t want conjecture to enter the police record, and you absolutely do not want to take responsibility for anything. That goes for when you’re speaking to the other driver(s) involved in the accident, as well—even an apology or a simple “I didn’t see you coming!” could be construed as you taking responsibility for the accident, and if anyone else hears you say that, it will be detrimental to any case you have.
  • Follow up with insurance:
    After you’ve gotten home from the accident site and have had some time to relax, be sure to follow up with your insurance provider, inform them of the accident and provide them with all the information you gained so the claims process can begin.

For more information about the steps you should take after an accident, contact a criminal defense attorney in Rockford, IL at the Law Office of Brendan W. Caver Ltd.

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