When you are involved in an automobile accident, it can be difficult to remember exactly what to do afterwards. You may have a lot of questions about the process immediately following an accident and in the days ahead. From what to do in the event of a wreck to hints that can help to keep you out of court, this quick but accurate guide, courtesy of accident attorney Joel H Schwartz of Boston Mass (website: https://www.joelhschwartz.com/boston-car-accident-lawyer/), can help you to navigate your incident with ease and ensure that you follow proper protocol…
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT
Breathe and Remain Calm.
The first few moments after an accident can be frightening but it is during this time that you must remain as calm as possible. Take a breath and remember that you cannot help yourself or anyone else if you are in full-on panic mode.
Check for Injuries.
Now is the time to check for any injuries starting with yourself and your passengers. You should then make sure that others involved in the accident are not injured. If you are not sure if anyone is hurt, you should always call for an ambulance just to be on the safe side. It is better to be safe than sorry. Emergency teams get these types of calls all the time so never hesitate to make that “just in case” call.
For Minor Accidents, Move Cars Out of Traffic and into a Safe Place.
If no one is injured and the accident is a minor one, move cars out of traffic and into a safe place. However, you should only do this if you can do it safely. Do not attempt to move cars in the middle of heavy traffic or under other conditions that might pose a hazard. Use common sense. Safety first.
Take Precautions to Protect Other Drivers.
Turn on your car’s hazard lights and, if you have them, use traffic cones, safety flares or warning triangles. Most people do not have this extent of advanced warning items inside their vehicles. In this situation, just do what you can — safely — to alert others to trouble ahead.
Call the Police.
The most common confusion with an accident is whether or not to call the police. You should always alert the police even if the accident that you were involved in is just a minor incident.
Contact Your Insurance Agent.
Once you have followed all of the above steps, contact your insurance agent and get the ball rolling. Your insurance agent may have several questions for you and they are best answered right away. Not only is this proper procedure but it also sets the gears in motion. If your car is damaged, you will want to move as quickly as possible anyway so that your claim moves swiftly.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Here are a few other things to keep in mind in the days following an accident:
Do Not Sign Any Documents from Anyone Other Than the Police or Your Insurance Agent.
There are several things to remember about auto accidents that may save you trouble in the future. First and foremost, do not sign any type of document unless it is from the police or your insurance company. Far too many people have signed documents from other drivers and entities that they later regretted. Even if you are uninsured or have some other concern that makes you anxious to get an accident dealt with fast, do NOT sign any documents that are not for the authorities or your insurance agent… period.
Take Notes About the Accident Quickly.
You will be asked a lot of questions by your insurance company and you may not remember much later on. The moments following an accident are very high-stress and you likely will remember much less than you realize. Taking notes now means that you can answer your insurance agent’s questions quickly but it also means that if something goes sour that you will know exactly what happened and will be able to answer the questions of a court … if one is ever needed. Consider this as extra insurance just in case you need it. Things to write down include any specific damages to your vehicle and any others involved, witness info and anything else that feels important in the grand scheme of things. If a driver’s name is different than the person who owns the auto insurance… ask the relationship they have to the policy holder.
Be Kind but Smart.
It is ok to be polite to others involved in the accident and in fact… the right thing to do. However, you should never tell anyone that the accident was your fault even if you think it may have been. This could come back to bite you later down the line if you wind up with a case that goes to court. You should also only discuss the accident with the authorities and your insurance agent. Anything outside of this sets you up for issues down the road if you or the other driver decides to make a case.
Do Not Be the First to Leave the Accident Scene.
If you can, do not leave the scene of the accident prior to the police or other drivers involved. If you were to have to go to court, having a statement on file can help your case. Do not risk being out of the loop. Sticking around means that you know what is going on and know what is being said.
If in the unlikely event you are involved in a car accident and you need to sort things out in court, turn to accident attorney Joel H Schwartz of Boston Mass. With the experience you need and the name you can trust, Joel can help you to navigate the court system and win your case. To learn more visit https://www.joelhschwartz.com/boston-car-accident-lawyer/.