What Should I Do After A Car Accident If It’s Not My Fault?
Posted on January 17, 2022 in Firm News
The last thing you expect or need while driving to your job or running some errands is to be sitting at a stop sign and getting rear-ended. Suddenly, there is cracking glass, crunching steel, your head jolts forward, your chin snaps down, and your ears are ringing. You look in your rearview mirror, after the initial shock wears off, and see parts and debris scattered all over the roadway. Now the big question arises: What to do after a car accident?
Clearly, since all you were doing was sitting at a stoplight or stop sign, this crash isn’t your fault. Does that matter? It might. What matters most right now is that you call the police, get medical attention, and then seek the assistance of a qualified, experienced personal injury lawyer familiar with car accident cases.
Both for your financial well-being and your physical health, what you do following a car accident can end up mattering immensely. To achieve the best possible outcome, following an MVA (motor vehicle accident), some guidelines should be followed. We are going to review those here.
Stay Safe – Stay at the Scene – Stay Calm
While on the scene of the accident, do your absolute best to stay calm. This is an invaluable asset following a car accident. Even if someone else tries to get you to leave the scene of the accident, don’t do it! Wait until the police arrive and you have spoken to them.
Do not – repeat, do not – leave the scene.
If you had passengers with you in your car, after you’ve moved your vehicle out of traffic (if possible) check to make sure everyone is okay. Medical attention should be sought immediately by anyone involved in the accident, whether they complain of injury or not. Immediately call 911 for serious injuries and/or unconscious victims.
As mentioned, get your vehicle out of traffic as much as possible and turn on your hazard lights.
Get the Police on Scene
Even if an accident is minor, if the police don’t show up to complete an accident report, you could be missing a critical piece of evidence in your case/claim. Accident reports by specially trained officers matter greatly in determining fault. The other person may have broken the law, received a citation, etc., which will be commented on by the police officer making the report.
Attorneys, insurance companies, and juries/judges will take into account the police report filed regarding your car accident.
Photos and Documentation
If you’re capable, following a car accident, try to get the names and contact information of any witnesses on the scene. Additionally, use your phone to take videos and/or pictures of absolutely everything. This can include damage to vehicles, injuries, road conditions, weather conditions, traffic signs, and more.
If you are not capable of taking pictures and videos – or talking to witnesses – try to get someone else to do it for you. Maybe there was someone else in the car with you who was not injured. Maybe a witness would act on your behalf. The important thing is that photos and documentation be gathered, as much as possible.
Seeking Medical Attention
Even if you don’t feel that you’re injured, you must seek medical attention. Not all injuries show up immediately. Delayed symptoms from injuries can end up being extremely serious. If you don’t seek medical attention immediately, see a doctor as soon as possible.
If you have been involved in an accident, as soon as you seek medical attention, seek out the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney familiar with car accident cases – namely, Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe, and Fein, P.C..