What to Do After a Car Accident
The car accident lawyers and personal injury attorneys with the legal team at the law offices of Jeffrey W. Hensley, P.A. have compiled an overview of what you should do in the minutes, hours and days following an auto collision.
What to Do Following a Car Accident
Palm Harbor drivers should immediately pull over after the accident (assuming the car is semi-drivable.) If you are in a dangerous location and the car is drivable, you may opt to move to a safer location, such as a nearby side street or parking lot. Just be sure to signal or speak to the other driver so they understand to follow and don’t mistake your actions for fleeing the scene. If you leave the scene without stopping, this is considered a hit and run, which is an illegal offense.
If the vehicles are in a dangerous location, cannot be moved due to serious damage, or if there are injuries involved, immediately dial 911 to summon help from the police department, paramedics, and/or fire department. You should also call the authorities if the other driver appears impaired.
You will need to provide police or the other driver with your driver’s license, registration and insurance information. You will want to make note of the other driver’s name, contact information, insurance information, along with the make, model and license plate number of their car.
If anyone witnessed the accident, get the person’s name and contact information so you can contact them if necessary.
It’s also important to take photographs of the accident scene. If the police department is summoned, they will typically take photos, but it’s always wise to snap a few photos yourself, just in case. Ideally, you should photograph the vehicles in situ, before they are moved. Photograph the damage to both vehicles, and take a few photos that show the entire area, including both vehicles. If any property damage occurred, photograph this as well. If there are skid marks present, take photographs of these as well because speed can be calculated by determining the length of the skid marks.
If you have been injured, photograph your injuries and immediately seek medical attention. If you are uncertain if you’ve been injured, always err on the side of caution and get an exam from a physician. Some potentially life-threatening injuries may not be immediately apparent, especially if your adrenaline is high from the stress of the crash. This medical exam is important if you ultimately need to take legal action.
In the case of a very minor accident, you may opt to pay to repair the damage out of pocket instead of using insurance. In cases where you will be filing an insurance claim, you should report the crash to your insurance company as soon as possible.
Even if you contact the police department to report your accident, you may still need to complete an accident report. You can contact the local authorities to enquire.
If you have been injured or anticipate legal issues as the result of the accident, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The Palm Harbor car accident attorneys of Jeffrey W. Hensley, P.A. are here to help if you’ve been injured in a car accident. Contact our personal injury law firm to arrange a free consultation by calling 727-781-3433.