Do‘s and Don’ts of Traffic Accidents
The first minutes after a traffic accident are the most confusing. To better prepare yourself and your family, here are a few do’s and don’ts to remember when in an accident.
- …immediately call for medical help if someone is injured.
- …call the police. They will document the accident and gather facts for legal purposes. If you don’t call the police, it is your word against the other person’s.
- …report the accident to your insurance agent as soon as possible.
- …move the car if it is drive able to the side of the road or a parking lot.
- …exchange information with the other parties involved, such as address and phone number. If it’s a car accident get the license plate number; make, model and year of the vehicle; driver’s insurance information; car registration number; driver’s license number.
- …get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses. Keep in mind, if it was a car accident, any passengers involved in the accident are NOT witnesses.
- …keep a disposable camera handy, such as in your glove box, to take pictures of the accident, damage to the vehicle, and the area around the accident.
- …write down any details you can remember from the accident.
- …call an attorney if needed.
- …panic. Remain calm and call for help.
- …leave the scene of the accident.
- …discuss the accident with anyone and blame anyone, including yourself.
- …forget to document and take pictures of all damages, especially your vehicle, if in a car accident.
- …wait to get legal advice. The longer you wait, the harder it is to prove your case.
- …speak to anybody from the at-fault person’s insurance company before consulting a lawyer. If you give a statement, it may be used against you in the future.
- …sign any papers given to you by an insurance company or agree to a settlement of your case until you get legal advice.
Remember, safety is first! Always call 911, no matter how big the injury!