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Q: What should I do if I am involved in an auto accident?

A: The first thing that you should do is to get out of danger as quickly as possible. Once any needed medical or police help has been called for, it is time to begin writing down important information relating to the accident. The names of the drivers involved, their driver’s license numbers and addresses should be obtained prior to anyone leaving the scene. In addition, it is important to know the names and contact information for the automobile’s registered owner (if different from the driver) and whether or not they have automobile insurance. If applicable, you will need the name of the insurance company and policy number. If any of the driver’s appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, write down who and why you believe this to be true. It will also be a good idea to write the names of anyone else who observed the same behavior in order to avoid a ‘he said/she said’ battle. If there were passengers in any of the vehicles or pedestrians that were involved, it is necessary that you write down their names and addresses as well.

In many cases, medical attention is rendered at the scene of an accident. If any person involved in the accident received treatment for a reported personal injury either at or shortly after the accident, make a note of their name and address. It is important to note whether or not any medical treatment was rendered at the scene and any comments that were made regarding complaints or lack thereof. 

The location of the accident is very important and may play a critical role in legal proceedings. It is necessary to take note of the location and weather conditions during the time that the accident occurred. If there were any witnesses, other than those who were directly involved, get their name, address and telephone number. Make sure to write down what time the accident occurred, which direction the automobiles were traveling in when the accident happened and what condition the vehicles were in beforehand. For instance, was anyone driving with a broken headlight or without their windshield wipers on in the rain? These are all important factors to pay close attention to. After the accident, what damages were sustained to your vehicle and where was it located? 

Immediately following an accident, it is important to distinguish who was at fault. If someone admits fault, write it down. If someone admits partial fault, take note of this as well. If a police officer is called to the scene, he/she will typically complete an accident report and will often issue a ticket upon the determination of who caused the accident. It is important to write down the name(s) of the officer(s) present at the scene.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: This website provides only general information intended to be a starting point for most legal issues. This information is not legal advice, nor is it intended to create any binding advisory relationship. Do not take action based upon this information unless you consult with an attorney or other specialist.