So You Just Got Into an Auto Accident, Now What?
Remember These Tips:
- Remain Calm and Do NOT Minimize Your Accident.
Being involved in an accident is certainly shocking and overwhelming. The impact can cause adrenaline to be pumping, and perhaps make you overlook some very important details. Even if an accident and the circumstances around it look insignificant, you always have to STOP. Remain calm and do not minimize your accident. NEVER assume an accident is not serious because of small damage to the vehicles, NEVER assume you are not hurt become you are not experiencing symptoms immediately, and NEVER admit liability that you were at fault for the accident.
- Call 911.
It can be very tempting not to call 911 if an accident was minor or damage was insignificant. You figure it would be easiest to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver and call it a day – NO! Stop right there again. You must always contact 911 after an accident. First of all, it is important that medical personnel report to the scene if anyone was injured and second, having an officer come out and conduct a report is essential to establish that an accident indeed happened in the first place.
- Gather Information.
While waiting for law enforcement to arrive, collect as much information you can from the scene of the accident. Make sure you gather the following:
- The name, telephone number, address, insurance company, and insurance policy number of every driver involved. The easiest thing to do would be to take a picture of their insurance card and their driver’s license.
- Take pictures of all the vehicles involved to show the property damage. Also take pictures of the general scene of the accident.
- If any witnesses are present, make sure to get their information as well such as name, telephone number, and address.
When law enforcement arrives, make sure you give them enough information for them to create a thorough and detailed report.
- See a Doctor.
It is crucial you be examined by a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. You may have heard of the 14-day rule to visit a doctor after an accident in order to qualify for PIP benefits under your auto insurance; while that is true, we do NOT recommend waiting until the 14th day to see a doctor. Getting to a doctor as soon as possible is the key – within a week of the accident is generally standard. Just remember this: you are pursuing a claim against the insurance company for injuries and ultimately getting a recovery based on your injuries. The more time that lapses between the accident and you receiving treatment, the more difficult it is to make a connection and prove your case.
- Call Your Attorney!
Always be sure to contact your attorney as soon as you can after an accident. If you do not remember anything after an accident except one thing, remember this last tip! Do NOT speak to any insurance company after the accident before contacting your attorney, including your own insurance company! You are not required to speak with them and you have every right to consult with an attorney before doing so. While you do have a duty to report the claim to your insurance, it is not a good idea to call them yourself – we will report the claim for you. Remember, insurance companies are notorious for making a profit and placing that as their top priority rather than protecting injured people. That is what personal injury attorneys at Borkovic Law Group are for – to look out for YOUR best interest at heart. Call us at (727) 798-5291 to receive your free personal injury consultation today.
Print out our free Borkovic Law Group Checklist, of what to do before and after an accident, and always keep it handy in your car. Click here to download, save, and print.