If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, the first thing you need to do is stop your car or truck, pull over to the side of the road if you can. Most states make leaving the scene of an accident a crime.
Check to see whether you or your passengers have been injured. See if the occupants of the other vehicle(s) are okay, too. If anyone is injured, call an ambulance, it is usually best not to move an injured person yourself. Prevent additional injuries by making your vehicle visible: set out flares, turn on your hazard lights or raise the hood of your vehicle.
When the Police Arrive
Cooperate with any police officers who are at the scene of the accident. Provide them with whatever information they request, including information on injuries and witnesses, but avoid making editorial comments or admitting responsibility for what happened. Legal liability is complex, and you may not have the facts you need to determine who was responsible for the accident.
Even if you are in minor pain, it is best to be examined by a doctor. Injuries may not truly show themselves until later, and early treatment can prevent significant pain or other damage. In addition, an insurance company could argue that your failure to seek medical treatment aggravated your injury, or even that your injury did not arise from the accident at all. Injuries sustained after an auto accident if left untreated can lead to spinal degeneration and a host of other problems for years to come.
Contact an Attorney
When you consult with an attorney, bring all of your automobile insurance information with you. Do not sign any documents or checks from an insurance company before you speak with the attorney. Document all of the costs related to the accident, such as renting a car, lost wages, medical bills and other costs. We work with a number of highly qualified attorneys and can refer you to for a complimentary consultation. Hiring a reputable attorney takes you out of the direct bargaining process with the insurance company, all the paperwork and phone calls associated with that, and lets you concentrate on healing.