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What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

Many of us will be involved in an auto accident at some time in our lives. Although most accidents are relatively minor, some can involve significant injuries and physical damage. If you are involved in an accident, here are some tips to help you help yourself, help others, and make a record of the accident in case the accident results in a lawsuit.

First things first: Help yourself and others.

  • Make sure you are safe, and then take care of others involved in the accident.
  • If possible, move your car to the shoulder of the road. Turn off your car and turn on your emergency flashers so oncoming motorists can easily see there is a problem.
  • Call emergency services or ask bystanders to call.
  • If there are accident victims, ask them if they need assistance. Help accident victims who request assistance, to the extent that you are qualified and able to do so. If any accident victims are unconscious, perform aid if they have life-threatening injuries. Avoid moving victims unless they are in immediate danger from fire, explosion, or oncoming vehicles. Try to keep any victims warm. Offer encouraging words and hold the victim’s hand if possible.
  • Turn the care over to emergency personnel once they arrive. Tell the emergency personnel about any aid you have administered and anything you’ve noticed about the victim’s condition.

On the scene of the accident you should:

  • Exchange information with the other driver. Ask for the driver’s license and insurance card. Write down the other driver’s full name and address, email address, and home, work, and mobile phone numbers. Make sure you write down the license number of the other driver’s car.
  • Take photos and videos of the accident scene. Make sure the pictures show the position of the cars. Photograph the damage to the cars, skid marks, broken car parts, and other damage to stationary objects such as guardrails and trees.
  • Find witnesses to the accident. Get witnesses’ names and addresses, and ask them if they would be willing to stay and talk with the police.
  • Make a record of the accident. Once the medical needs of the accident victims are met, try to develop a record of the accident. This will be important if legal proceedings result from the accident.

After the accident, you should:

  • Seek immediate medical treatment if you have been injured.
  • Get the police report of the accident.
  • Contact your insurance company to report the accident.
  • Consult with an attorney. If you or a family member are injured in an auto accident, you should check with a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights.
  • Have someone take photos of your injuries.

This may seem like a lot of recordkeeping, but it is critical information if you have a legal claim from an accident.

Questions about how to proceed after an auto accident?

A New Haven car accident attorney at Jacobs & Jacobs will be happy to discuss your accident with you. Please call us at (203) 777-2300 for a free consultation.

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