Immediately following a motor vehicle accident, those involved may be seriously injured and in a highly emotional state. This type of scenario doesn’t often translate to clear-headed, effective decision making abilities. However, the decisions you make immediately following an accident can have a significant impact on the outcome. Familiarizing yourself with the below tips will help you to be better prepared in an emergency situation. If you are injured or in any way incapacitated, ask someone else to help you collect necessary information, if possible.
MA Motor Vehicle Crashes – Tips For Protecting Yourself After the Accident
Never leave the scene until law enforcement has arrived and it is appropriate to do so. If you’ve been injured as a result of the other driver’s negligence or actions, it is imperative that you provide police with details that support your claim. On the other hand, if someone else was injured or killed and you leave the scene, you may be criminally charged with a hit-and-run offense.
If anyone is injured, call 911. Do not move any person who appears to have back or neck injuries or who is unconscious. This may injure them further. Wait for medical help to arrive unless a hazardous situation requires their immediate removal from the vehicle.
If there is property damage, call 911. The police should be called for any accident involving property damage, injury, or death. Ask for the police officer’s name and badge number and request that he or she file an accident report. This may prove immensely helpful should you decide to file a lawsuit.
Obtain the names and contact information of everyone at the scene. In addition to the other driver, if there are witnesses, their contact information is essential if the other driver was at fault. A witness statement can be extremely powerful in an accident case.
Write down the other driver’s name, contact information, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information.
Don’t apologize for anything. An apology can be used against you if the accident ends up in a lawsuit. For example, if you say “I’m sorry for cutting you off like that!” this can be the equivalent to admitting legal liability for the accident. You may not even be aware who was at fault immediately following an accident.
Take photographs of property damage to your vehicle. Also photograph any supporting evidence in the surrounding area, such as traffic lights and stop signs in close proximity to your vehicle.
Notify your insurance company of the accident. Explain what happened, and the extent of your injuries and property damage.
Contact an attorney. Avoid discussing details of the incident with the other parties involved and their insurance companies. In fact, consult with an experienced accident attorney before talking to anyone. Referrals are often the best way to find a skilled, knowledgeable attorney. Ask your friends and family if they can recommend a reputable personal injury law firm.
Keep a record of your medical bills. Whether you are hospitalized for two weeks for severe injuries, suffered minor injuries that require little more than an office visit, or saw a therapist for emotional trauma, record every expense. Also, keep records of other expenses that were caused by the accident such as taxi rides, co-payments, medical supplies and other accident related expenses.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Personal Injury Law Firm
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and property damages. In the wake of a serious accident, effective decision making can be challenging. You may be in a highly emotional state or incapacitated as a result of serious injuries. However, if you are able to take action at the scene of the accident, your chances of a positive outcome increase substantially. At Altman & Altman, LLC, we put our nearly 50 years of personal injury law experience to work for accident victims across Massachusetts. Our talented legal team has extensive motor vehicle accident experience, and we have an impressive record of obtaining compensation for our clients. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free consultation about your case.