What to do when you have a car wreck.
When you or your loved ones are injured in a car wreck, it can be frightening and confusing. Here are some tips on what to do when you have an auto accident:
- Stop. Stay at the scene of the car or truck accident. You could be charged with a crime for leaving the scene of the accident.
- Provide help as you are able to any injured persons. Do not attempt to move anyone who is badly injured, unless there is a risk of greater injury by leaving the person alone. Call 9-1-1 for an ambulance when injuries are severe.
- Do not volunteer any information or make comments about the car accident to anyone, including your car insurance companies, the other drivers, or other parties involved. Do not sign any pieces of paper and do not agree to pay for damages.
- Identify all drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and witnesses and ask them to remain at the scene of the car wreck. Write down their names, addresses, phone numbers, license plate numbers on their vehicles, and an account of what they saw. Do not rely on the police officer to do this for you. Oftentimes the names of witnesses and even car passengers are not included on the car accident report.
- All drivers must identify themselves to each other. Copy down information contained on all drivers licenses, vehicle registrations, and vehicle insurance cards.
- Call 9-1-1 to ask for police to come the accident scene of the auto accident to take an incident report. If the local police are not called or will not come to the scene of the car wreck, to file a report, you have 10 days to go to the police station to file a written report about the wreck.
- While you must cooperate with the police officers investigating the wreck case and you must sign traffic tickets, just provide the basic facts. Do not make comments or give interpretations of the auto accident. Stay calm and tell the truth.
- Take down the name and the badge number of the police officer involved at the scene of the car wreck. Ask when and where you can pick up a copy of the accident report.
- Make a diagram of the car wreck, showing the positions of the cars before, during, and after the wreck. Make sure and note any traffic lights and street signs, estimate the speeds of the cars, and write down details about the weather and road conditions at the time of the wreck.
- Take pictures and / or video with your camera or cell phone of all the cars, vehicle damage, scene, and other driver(s) if possible.
- Seek medical attention and x-rays ASAP either at the emergency room doctor or with your doctor. Sometimes you may think you are not injured in the car wreck but there could be serious internal injuries that don't show up until later. Physical therapy or chiropractic care may help you recover more quickly from back and neck pain, even if there are no serious injuries from the wreck.
- Contact your car insurance company ASAP to file a car wreck claim. Provide only the facts of the car accident. Avoid comments or interpretations of what happened. Do not give a recorded statement to any insurance adjuster until after you have consulted with an experienced car wreck attorney. Contact Coe Law Office