Print this list out and keep it in your car. If you’re in an accident you don’t have to remember what to do, you can just look at your list.
- Stay at the Scene
This seems like common sense but hit and runs happen frequently. Legally, you are obligated to stop if you’ve been in an accident. Besides, you ‘ll need to exchange insurance information with the other parties involved, take photos of the scene, and speak with the police officer making the accident report.
- Call 911
This goes for both minor fender benders and 10 car pile ups. If there has been any sort of accident, you’ll want the police to make a report. Plus, the police officer wasn’t in the accident and isn’t experiencing the same intense emotions as you, so they are able to better document details you might forget, like the weather, road conditions, witnesses, etc.
- Stay Calm
When someone puts you and your family in harm’s way, it is easy to let your emotions get the best of you. But getting angry is not productive or helpful in the aftermath of an accident. Don’t be aggressive or confront any of the other parties involved.
- Don’t Admit Fault
Even if it was obviously your fault, do not admit so and do not profusely apologize. Remain calm, help others in need, and wait for the authorities to arrive and make a report. Do be honest when giving a statement to the police but avoid phrases like “It was all my fault”. Such statements may damage any potential insurance claim.
- Gather Evidence
Gathering evidence is a big step in the process of making a legal claim, and the earlier you start the better.
- Other Driver’s Information: Make sure to get, at a minimum, the following information from the other driver(s) involved: Name, Address, Phone Number, License Plate Number, Insurance Card Information, Make and Model of Car.
- Photo/Video: Get shots of the cars involved, the weather conditions, the road conditions, even a bank sign that might indicate date and time.
- Witnesses: Did any bystanders witness the accident? Ask if the witnesses would be willing to provide their contact information and give statements to the police.
- Police/Accident Report: A police report can help strengthen a property damage or personal injury claim.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Kamper Estrada, LLP for their insight into car accident cases.