In order to protect your rights it is important to know what to do if you are involved in an automobile accident. What happens immediately after an accident can affect whether or not you will be able to receive compensation for damages.
1. Pull over: You must stop if you are in accident. (You can be charged with the crime of Leaving the Scene of an Accident if you do not remain on scene).
2. Get Medical Assistance: If anyone in the vehicle has been injured you should immediately seek medical assistance.
3. Call the Police: When the police arrive it is best to request that an accident report be created. You should also get the name and badge number of any police officers at the scene.
4. Get Information from other Drivers: Be sure to get the name, address, phone numbers, driver’s license number and insurance information for any drivers involved in the collision. You should also note the license plate number as well as the vehicle identification number.
5. Speak with Witnesses: Find out what witnesses observed and write down their names and contact information. These witnesses may be helpful in a court case if there is any liability involved.
6. Record the Scene: Many people now have recording capabilities in their telephones. Record or photograph the accident scene including the conditions of the vehicles. If there is any physical injury you should also video or photograph the injuries.
7. Watch your Words: Although you may be angry or frustrated you should be civil and polite. However, you should refrain from telling the police or other drivers that the accident was your fault. You should also refrain from discussing your injuries or lack thereof with other drivers. Such comments can certainly be used against you if there is a lawsuit.
8. Report the Accident to your Insurance Company: You must report the accident to your insurance company soon after it occurs. If you are injured, you should speak with your attorney first who can then provide the information to your insurance company. The insurance company will want a statement from you and your attorney should be present when you give your statement.
9. Do Not Sign Without Consulting with an Attorney: An insurance adjuster may offer you a settlement. However, by signing a settlement you lose your right to be compensated for injuries. It is best to consult with an attorney to determine your rights.
The DC Law Group is a diverse law firm serving clients in the Washington DC metro area (including Montgomery County and Prince George County). We have attorneys and assistants that are fluent in Chinese and Spanish. We are here to assist you throughout every step of the process and will fight to get you every penny you deserve as a result of your injuries. Do not hesitate to give us a call today at 240-364-2800. We offer free initial consultations and will not charge you a dime unless we obtain a judgment in your favor. Se hablan español.