You've Been in a Collision. What Should You Do?
Being a an automobile collision is a stressful and can be life threatening experience. There are many medical and legal questions that instantly come to your mind. What should you do?
First, take care of yourself and any other vehicle occupants.Stay calm and check for injuries. Call 911 and report the collision and the need for medical attention, if appropriate. Turn on the hazard lights.
If You are Able, Collect Evidence!If you are able, photograph/videotape the location of the collision from a variety of viewpoints. Photograph the damage to the vehicles from a distance and close up. There is no such thing as too many photographs or too much videotape!
If the cars are operable and it is safe, move the vehicles to side the clear the road.
Exchange information with the other parties to the collision. Take photographs of their Drivers License, Auto Insurance Card and Registration. Get names, addresses and telephone numbers of witnesses, if possible. Leaving the scene of a collision without exchanging this information is a crime. Don't even think about it!
When the police arrive, cooperate and be honest without exaggeration of speed, elapsed time, details, etc.
Promptly Seek Medical Attention at the nearest Emergency Room or Urgent Care Center.Make sure that facility is covered by your health insurance! Auto insurance companies love to discount the severity of your injuries if you did not seek immediate medical attention! Cooperate with the doctors and follow their advice. Follow up with your primary care physician or appropriate specialist soon after.
You can expect that once the adrenaline of the emergency has worn off, you will really start to feel the pain of your injuries, so rest and limited activities are the norm, along with pain killers and muscle relaxants. Once you start to feel better a few weeks later, and start moving around to resume your lifestyle activities, new pain and limitations will emerge. It is important that you are in the care of a responsive medical professional who will document your complaints, medical care, recovery and prognosis. We can direct you to trusted health care professionals if need be.
Notify your auto insurer of the collision!You have a duty to cooperate with your auto insurer. Do not speak with any insurance company representative except your own. The insurer for the other party would love to interview you, record the conversation, and get you to admit that you were party at fault, that your injuries aren't that bad and that their insured wasn't at fault at all. You have nothing to gain by cooperating with that insurance company, so just don't do it! Call us and we will handle all communications with the other party and their insurer.