"What should I do if I'm involved in a car accident?"
When a car accident happens in Massachusetts or Connecticut, it's easy to become confused and forget to get the necessary information. Even a minor accident can leave people nervous and shaken. Keep this checklist handy so you'll know what steps to take and what questions to ask after your accident.
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When You Are Involved in a Car Accident:
- Notify the police.
- If anyone is hurt, tell the police you need medical assistance.
- If anyone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, tell the police.
- If possible, take photos of the accident scene with your cellphone, especially before the vehicles involved in your accident are moved. Take photographs of damage to vehicles, skid marks, street signs and weather conditions. If you do not have a camera, contact our law firm. We may be able to take photos for you.
- Do not admit responsibility or wrongdoing. Even saying something as simple as "I'm sorry" or "It was my fault" to the other driver could be used against you by insurance investigators focused on reducing or denying your claim. Also make note if the other driver admits wrongdoing. Such statements could improve your ability to be compensated.
- Collect the following information from those involved in the accident (including drivers, passengers and pedestrians):
- Full names
- Phone numbers
- License plate numbers
- Make and model of cars
- Insurance status of drivers
- Name of person to whom vehicle is registered
- If someone saw your accident, talk to the witness and ask him or her to make a statement to the police. Also make sure to get the witness' full name, address and phone number. Witness statements can make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your case.
- Draw a diagram of your accident. Make note which direction vehicles were heading, point of impact and other information. Every detail matters.
- Write down how your accident happened. Imagine you are telling a friend what happened to you. Describe the accident in your own words while your memories are fresh. If you don't feel comfortable writing the information down, consider making an audio recording on your cellphone or another recording device.
- Make notes about your accident as soon as possible while your memories are fresh. Important details you should write down include:
- Time of day when accident occurred.
- Weather conditions.
- Damage to vehicles.
- Names and badge numbers of the police officers who investigated accident.
- If any vehicles were towed from the scene.
- If anyone refused to be treated for injuries after the crash.
- If anyone admitted wrongdoing after the accident.
- Seek medical help. Even if you feel fine after your accident, you could have serious or potentially-fatal injuries. Internal injuries might not be visible after your accident. Other injuries like whiplash might take several days to appear after an accident. That's why it's critical that you seek immediate medical attention and schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor.
- Contact our law firm. The Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone can help you explore all the legal options available to you.
- Contact your insurance company. Tell them that you have been in accident. But keep your comments to a minimum, especially if you feel that your insurance company may not compensate you for your accident.
- Do not talk to anyone who works for the other driver's insurance company. Any statements you make or questions you answer could be used by the insurance company to reduce or deny your claim for compensation.
- Tell the insurance companies to direct their questions to us. We can deal directly with them on your behalf. We have years of experience dealing with insurance companies and car accidents.
For more information on how we can help you after your auto accident, contact us 24 hours a day and schedule your free case evaluation. Email us or call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 right now.