1. Stop Your Car -
This refers to not leaving the scene of the accident until you have reached steps for auto accidents #9.
2. Assist the Injured -
If you are the injured person, assist yourself by proceeding to the next step immediately.
3. Call the Police -
You need to document the accident for future claims (see steps for auto accidents #11, steps for auto accidents #12, and steps for auto accidents #13)
4. Identify the Driver -
Make sure you take a picture of the person's ID or write the ID number down along with the person(s) full name(s).
5. Witnesses -
Take down information of each witness as well and get an accounting of what they saw. Take notes of what they say, even if you have a different recollection.
6. Take Notes -
Fill Out Accident Form and Diagram (included in the pamphlet) - The accident form and Diagram is a great tool! Police will do the same thing on the accident report based on the testimony they get from witnesses. Let's just say the police's accounting isn't always accurate. Make sure you have your own records.
7. Comments -
I know you want to talk. It's human nature. But in this case, don't. Do not comment to the police more than what you have to. Do not comment to the other drivers. They may get your words mixed up. Just remember to keep detailed notes to review with your attorney. They will make sure to set the record straight. We believe this is the most important, next to #10.
8. Arrest -
If you are arrested contact a family member, and have them contact us immediately. You could end up facing two different cases. First, a civil case where the other drivers want to sue you. Then, of course, the criminal charge. Just because you are arrested does not mean you are guilty. If there is any indication of you being arrested (wrongfully or otherwise) refer to the last step. Do not comment. Leave the arguing to your attorney.
9. When to Leave the Scene -
When the other drivers have your information and the police have your information, ask if you are free to leave to the police.
10. See a Doctor -
Even if you are not sure if you are hurt, see a doctor. The pain could come later. Do not wait too long before seeing a doctor. It's better safe than sorry.
The Last 3 Steps
11. Reports -
Gather all of your reports. Yours, and the police criminal report (if applicable) and the accident report. Make sure to bring with you to your first no-obligation consultation.
12. Claims Made Against You -
If there are claims made against you because of a citation, an attorney (like us!) can help you make sure the citation you received impacts your civil case in the least manner possible.
13. Claims Made by You -
If you have claims against the other driver, call us to get a consultation on how to proceed with such claims.
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