What should I do if I’m in a car crash?

Getting into a car crash can be a scary and confusing event.  Here are some quick and easy tips if you have been involved in a car crash:

  • Stay at the scene.
  • Check on all drivers and passengers. DO NOT APOLOGIZE OR ADMIT FAULT!
    • If the other driver is admitting fault, take note of their comments.
  • Seek medical attention immediately for anyone with serious or life threatening injuries. Do not move anyone who has neck or back injuries or is unconscious.
  • Call the police – it is important that a police report is made if there is property damage or injury.
  • Gather information at the scene:
    • Collect contact information of anyone involved in the crash.
    • Get license plates of cars involved.
    • Take note of the year, make, and model of all cars involved.
    • If any drivers were working at the time of the crash, get the name and phone number of the company the driver was working for.
    • Record the insurance information of all drivers.
    • Get contact information from any witnesses – names, addresses, and phone numbers.
    • Take pictures of all vehicles before they are moved if possible.
    • Take pictures of the scene.
    • Take pictures of any debris around the crash site – this may be helpful if crash reconstruction is necessary.
  • Inform your insurance company – even if you are not the at fault driver, you should notify your insurance company. You may have medical payment coverage available to assist you with necessary medical treatment.
  • Keep track of your medical treatment including mileage to and from appointments, missed time from work, and any out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Take pictures of any visible injuries.
  • Get a property damage evaluation. Take your car for a repair estimate and keep track of any other personal property that may have been damaged in the crash.
  • Be careful of discussing your crash with anyone other than an attorney or your insurance company. DO NOT GIVE A STATEMENT TO THE OTHER DRIVER’S INSURANCE WITHOUT DISCUSSING THE CRASH WITH A LAWYER FIRST.
  • Be wary of quick settlement offers. Many insurance companies now are advertising that they settle claims fast.  This means that you may settle your case before you fully know what all of your injuries are.  Once your case is settled, you will not be able to come back for more money later.
  • Call a lawyer. It is important to call an attorney as soon as possible after your crash. Evidence may disappear, witnesses may move, road conditions may change and there are time limits for filing suit.

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