Post-Collision: What Should the Victims Do?
It is easy to let your emotions get the best of you after a collision. As understandable as that is, you have to keep in mind that you still have duties to carry out at the scene of the accident – and even afterwards. What are the things to do following a collision? Here are some reminders:
Stay on the scene.
This is essential – no matter how busy your day is, or no matter how important your plans are, it is best to not leave the scene of the accident until you are sure that you are no longer needed. Leaving the scene might make you face serious criminal charges for being a hit-and-run driver – especially in the case when someone has sustained injuries or worse, died.
Check on everyone involved.
Before assessing the damage on the properties, assess the people involved first. If there are people who need immediate medical attention, send someone to call for help. If a victim is unconscious – or with neck or back pain – do not move that person. Wait for qualified medical personnel to assist that person. In such cases, however, that a person is exposed to more danger, you may move him or her but with extreme caution.
Call the police.
If there’s any physical injury, death or major property damage: call the police right away. A police report should be filed once the cops arrive at the scene. You should take the name and badge numbers of the officers who were present – you might need these references in an event of a case.
Contact your insurance company.
Make it known to your insurance company that you have been involved in an accident. Give them the full details and answer all of their questions truthfully. It is important to not give false information because you will be in serious trouble if they find out that you did not tell the truth. This might also lead to possible coverage denial for the accident.
Secure all medical documents.
A detailed account of the medications and treatments you receive should be kept. Take time to note the names of all the medical staff that has assisted or handled you after the accident as well as the dates of your appointments. You may request for copies of all your medical bills and records – these will help you in proving your medical expenses in the future.
Hire experienced lawyers.
If you or someone you know was injured in the accident, hiring an experienced lawyer is a good move. By doing so, you can be assured that you will get the appropriate help you need to maximize your recovery. An experienced lawyer will also help you defend yourself especially if you are the driver at-fault.
Limit your discussions.
It is best to not talk to anyone about the accident other than your lawyer, the police, and your insurance company. If a representative of a different insurance company asks you for information about the accident, let your insurer or attorney know first before answering. In the case that other insurance companies contact you, tell them politely to call your insurer or attorney to set up for an interview.
IF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN A MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISION, contact our law firm immediately.