What should I do at the scene of an accident?

Stop at the scene! Get the other driver’s information even if it appears that there is minor damage to your car, and that no one seems to have been injured. There are several reasons for this. The laws of most states require the police to be called, and the accident to be reported if the damage to the vehicles is even above a very minimal amount. Report it to be on the safe side and to avoid a possible motor vehicle or criminal violation for failure to report an accident.

If you are going to make any sort of claim against the other driver’s insurance company, you want to know his/her name, license number, insurance carrier, etc. This information will all be provided in the Crash Investigation Report that will be written by the responding officer(s). Do NOT ADMIT FAULT and DO NOT APOLOGIZE! If it was your fault, the Crash Investigation officer will most likely uncover who the culpable party is. Everything may have happened so quickly that it may have appeared to be your fault. However, you most likely did not see a host of things that happened that may prove that you were not at fault. However, if the other driver(s) talk to you or the police after the accident, listen carefully to what he/she says and, as soon as possible, write down exactly what was said. His/her statements may be useful later on. If you feel it is the other driver’s fault, without talking to much about what you did, tell the officer what the other driver did that was wrong.

If you feel any pain or discomfort take a ride in the ambulance and get Medical Treatment! Even if the pain is not significant now, it may be the sign that something serious is wrong with you. In all reality, you do not know what latent injuries might arise from the impact of the accident. Some injuries are to such isolated and obscure body parts, that it takes a while for the pain to set in or for the injuries to manifest themselves. Many of times you are in shock and your adrenaline masks the pain that you would be otherwise feeling. This is particularly true with spinal injuries in the neck and low back. Let the doctors tell you it is ok to go home and sleep it off! Do not make that judgment call yourself. Never say at the scene, “I feel fine.” At the very least, you should express that you are “shaken up” and are “uncertain” as to your medical condition. Even if you have not sought medical treatment at the scene, nor left the scene in an ambulance, if you are feeling pain, seek medical treatment immediately! You can start by going to an emergency room or your primary physician, but it is often a good idea to see specialists who focus upon your type of injuries.

The attorneys at Riviere Advocacy Group LLC work with a team of doctors who will provide the medical expertise to protect your legal rights and maximize your recovery.

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