Practical Car Accident Tips

Introduction

No one wants to be in a motor car accident but once you are you need to follow certain procedures to protect your legal position. Here we will give you the pointers necessary to guide you through the trials of what can be a disheartening experience. Please remember that these pointers are for information only. You should always seek legal advice directly from a lawyer who is aware of the entire fact situation.

Record all contact information

It is essential that you obtain all the contact information of the persons involved in the car accident. Almost everyone is aware of the need to obtain this information form the drivers involved in the accident. In the case of a driver it is also important to obtain the information relating to their driving license and automobile insurance liability policy.

However you should not stop there. It is important if at all possible to obtain the contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Often they will not want to wait at the scene of the accident so they should be the first priority. It is also important to note the description and number of passengers in the vehicles involved even if you are not able to obtain their names and addresses. It is also prudent to ask any tow truck drivers who attend the scene for their names as they may be able to supply useful information relating to conversations at the scene.

Report the accident

Notify the police immediately. This should be done with a cellphone at the scene. In most instances this is required by law. If you fall within an exception you will nevertheless receive instructions and direction as to what you must do. You should avoid moving the involved vehicles until the police have arrived at the scene.

Notify your own insurer as soon as possible. This will preserve your rights as typically the insurance policy or legislation will require you to act within a certain time. If fault for the accident is disputed then having your insurer involved from the outset will allow them to investigate the accident fully. If you have concerns that the responsibility for the accident will be disputed then inform the insurer so that it is aware precautions may be taken. The insurer’s resources are greater than yours and you will want to get them working on the caseĀ at the outset. At some point you will be required to meet with yoru insurer’s representative to give a statement.

Memorialize the accident

While at the scene take photographs or video of the vehicles before they are moved. This will preserve details of the location of the vehicles after the impact and the damage sustained. These can be important pieces of information to help in accident reconstruction if required. Most cellphones today have the capability to take pictures and so they should be used as these photographs will be better than none at all.

As soon as possible after leaving the scene notes should be made that record the details of all conversations with involved parties as well as relevant observations relating to weather, driving conditions and the conduct and behaviour of involved persons.

Self help

If you have been injured then you will need both medical and legal help.

If you have been hurt and emergency medical services have arrived at the scene you should speak to them and inform them of how you are feeling. Do not refuse their help. The paramedics have both training and experience beyond the ordinary person. They can assess your situation and give you the best advice as to what you should do according to proven protocol. This can include transport to a hospital even of only as a precautionary measure.

If you do not realize that you have been hurt or injured until later then it is important to obtain medical assessment and treatment either form your doctor or hospital emergency services as soon as possible. The most important reason to do this is to obtain treatment to minimize the impact of any injuries you have received on your activities. Another reason to do this is to preserve proof of the causal connection between the accident and your injury.

Once you have been assessed medically then you should see your lawyer so that you can comply with any applicable deadlines that must be met to preserve your rights and assert your claims. For more information about the services car accident lawyers can provide please visit our automobile accident litigation page.

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