What to do if you're in an auto accident.
What to do and don't do if you're in a car accident1. Call for medical help immediately if someone is injured.
2. Call the police. The police will document the accident, investigate the cause and possibly issue a ticket. If you do not get the police there, it's your word against the other driver.
3. Report the accident to your insurance agent as soon as possible.
4. At the scene, exchange information with the other party. Exchange addresses and phone numbers, insurance information and for yourself, note the other driver's license plate number, make,model and year of the vehicle that hit you. Good luck on this one, but ask the other driver if you can copy down their license number from their driver's license.
5. Get names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses.
6. Most people have a camera on their cell phone. Take your own photographs of your vehicle if able to do it, the other vehicle and surrounding area and gather up what would be evidence.
7. If able to do it, gather up what would be physical evidence or at least take photographs of it. This is particularly helpful if it is something that may have cause the accident.
8. Draw a diagram is you are able of the accident, note the exact time and date, weather conditions.
9. Consider calling an attorney. If the accident was not your fault, there may be a claim to be pursued. If you are cited for the accident, you may need one to properly advise you and represent you in traffic court.
10. By the way, don't argue and yell at the other driver. Sure, the other driver may have done something extremely stupid, but it accomplishes nothing and consider the other driver may be hurt. There's no reason to add insults to injuries.
11. Do get medical treatment. Even if you're not feeling too bad at the time, you probably will the next day.
DON'T DO THESE
1. Try not to panic. This is a time to try to remain calm, which is not always easy and someone needs to call for help.
2. Don't move your vehicle and by all means, don't leave the scene.
3. Don't discuss the collision with anyone present.
4. Do not blame any anyone and by all means, don't blame yourself.
5. Don't forget to do what is in the above list such as documenting, taking photographs, getting names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses.
6. Don't speak with a representative of the other insurance company before consulting with an attorney that is representing you. What you say can become evidence against you.
7. Don't sign any releases or consents for the other insurance company. Let the representative know you either already have an attorney and give the attorney's name phone number. If you do not have one, tell the insurance representative you are getting one and the attorney will call.
Do you need an attorneyIt is highly recommended you at least consult an attorney.