Hi, I’m Ross Rothenberg of The Rothenberg Law Firm.
Today, we are going to discuss what do do after a car accident:
The first thing you want to do is check for any injuries. If anyone is injured, immediately call 911 and ask for an ambulance. Tell the operator that you need immediate medical assistance. Also, as best you can, give the operator detailed information as to your location. Tell him or her the nearest cross streets and if you are on a highway or country road, describe any landmarks or signs.
Call the Police: In addition to ambulance personnel, it is important that the police are contacted as well, regardless of any injuries. Do not leave the scene of the accident before police arrive.
Tip: Get the names and badge numbers of any police officers who respond to the scene.
File A Report: Complete a report with the police on the scene, eventually you will be able to obtain a copy of the report or at least get the report number.
Tip: If anyone involved seems to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, tell that to the police when you call for help. Also, if you noticed that the driver of the other vehicle was using a cellphone when crash happened, tell that to the responding officers.
Obtain as much information as possible: Your insurance company will need the full names, addresses and phone numbers of everyone involved, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and any witnesses. Get information about the other vehicles involved, such as license plate numbers, make and model. Get the names and phone numbers of as many witnesses as possible.
Tip: Be sure to find out the insurance status of all vehicles and persons involved. If any drivers were not the registered owners, get the registered owner’s name, address, and phone number(s).
Take Pictures: Almost everyone has a smartphone with a camera – Take as many photos as possible of the accident site, the vehicles and people involved, and anything else that might have a bearing on how and why the incident occurred.
Tip: Pictures taken as soon as possible after a car accident will be the most valuable. Don’t forget to take pictures of the damage to all vehicles, the license plates, the other vehicle’s insurance information and registration, and evidence such as street signs or lights, skid marks, the position of the vehicles etc.
Contact a Lawyer: BEFORE YOU CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY Contact a personal injury attorney. However, do not delay in contacting your insurance carrier to report the accident once you have consulted with an attorney. Most insurance companies have notice requirements, so you must notify them of the accident in a timely manner.
Tip: Do not talk to your insurance company until after you talk to an attorney. NEVER talk to a representative of the other VEHICLE’S insurance company. DO NOT GIVE ANY STATEMENT TO YOU’RE INSURANCE COMPANY AS TO WHAT HAPPENED WITHOUT FIRST SPEAKING TO AN ATTORNEY.
Get Medical Help: OBVIOUSLY, If you have been seriously injured, you probably will be taken directly to a hospital emergency room. If you are not seriously injured, however, do not assume that you are uninjured. Many injuries from vehicle crashes, like whiplash, OR A POSSIBLE HEAD INJURY do not show up right away.
Tip: Failure to get medical care might have serious consequences if you have latent injuries that only show up 24-36 hours later. Do not neglect symptoms that are unfamiliar, or pain that appears hours later.
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