Five Things to Remember Following an Automobile Accident
As a New Jersey driver, you need to know how to handle emergencies just as well as you know the rules of the road.
For a detailed description of how to effectively handle the vital moments after an automobile accident, look at the excellent instructions provided by Edmunds.com. But the following five points provide important tips that can help protect you and others:
- Call 911: Nothing is more important than ensuring that anyone injured receives immediate medical attention. And you need a police report to file a claim for damages.
- Avoid admitting fault: Whether you talk to police or to anyone at the accident scene, keep conversations focused on the immediate business at hand. This is not the time to express your theories about what caused the accident. Apologizing for the collision may also be viewed as an admission of guilt.
- Collect information: You need to see licenses and insurance cards of all involved drivers, making note of numbers, expiration dates, insurance companies and anything you need to file a claim. Also make sure you obtain contact information from any witnesses to the accident.
- Retain evidence: Do not get your vehicle repaired until your attorney or insurer gives you permission. Keep copies of all medical bills and receipts for all related expenses. If possible, capture photos at the accident scene to record damages to all vehicles, injuries, skid marks and anything else you may need to prove liability.
- Seek medical attention for any injuries: A minor headache or neck pain may be an early symptom of a serious condition. Even if you do not feel as though you have to go to the hospital immediately, err on the side of caution when you experience even seemingly minor symptoms.
Finally, consider seeking knowledgeable advice and support from an experienced auto accident attorney to learn the next steps — and your rights.