Car accidents can leave the most levelheaded people shaken up. However, no matter how emotional you are it’s best not to say too much at the accident scene. People involved in accidents frequently have the reaction that “he came out of nowhere.” Car accidents can seemingly happen when you least expect them. But, after an accident, there are things you can and should do.
First of all, at the scene, try to find a safe place away from any traffic. There you can wait for emergency personnel, police, and you can exchange information with the other driver.
It is very important to call the police. Wait for the police to arrive at the scene, unless it is simply impossible to do so. If you cannot wait for the police to arrive at the scene make sure you speak to the police as soon as possible following the accident.
Exchanging information with the other driver is important. Try to obtain as much information as possible, within reason, about the other driver as well as any other passengers who might be in the other driver’s vehicle. Most importantly you need the name, address, and phone number of the other driver as well as the license plate/tag number for the other driver’s vehicle and the state that the license plate is registered. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their names, phone numbers and addresses as well.
You should report the accident to your insurance company as soon as you reasonably can after the accident. You are not under an obligation to contact your insurance company immediately; in other words you are not obligated to contact your insurance company from the scene, or from the hospital or even within the first day or two after the accident. Typically an insurance policy simply provides that you give them notice of the accident as soon as possible after the accident. The insurance company does not necessarily have your best interest in mind. They have their own best interest in mind. For this reason it is always a good idea to contact an attorney following a car accident in order to help you deal with the payment of medical bills, resolution of the property damage, and basically to deal with your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company.