Do's and Dont's after an Accident
If you or a loved one are involved in an auto accident, following are some “do’s and don’ts” to help you protect your right to a legal remedy for harm suffered.
Prepare yourself ahead of time by printing out this helpful pamphlet on first steps after an auto accident, and storing it in your glove compartment. It has itemized steps you can check off, as well as an area where you can clearly fill out relevant information after a wreck.
DO seek medical attention before doing anything else.
DO summon the police, in appropriate cases.
DO cooperate with all law enforcement and emergency personnel who respond to the scene.
DO get the license plate numbers of all other vehicles involved in car accidents and the drivers’ names, addresses, telephone numbers, and insurance information.
DO get the name and address of the animal’s owner and any license information if you were injured by an animal bite or attack.
DO write down the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all potential witnesses to an accident.
DO contact your health, homeowner’s, and/or automobile insurance companies, as appropriate.
DO take photographs of all of the following, as applicable, as soon as possible after the accident:
- The scene of the accident, from all angles.
- The surrounding area.
- The product or animal that caused your injuries.
- Your injuries.
- Any property damage.
DO contact your attorney.
DON’T move your vehicle after an automobile accident unless necessary for safety or required by law.
DON’T subject yourself to further injury by standing or waiting in an area of traffic or other safety hazards.
DON’T leave the scene of an accident until the police tell you it is okay to do so.
DON’T throw away any potential evidence in the case, such as defective products, or torn or blood-stained clothing.
DON’T remain in a burning building while calling for help. Leave the area of danger first, and then immediately call from a safe place.
DON’T engage in discussions as to fault with anyone, and make sure you don’t apologize for anything-it can be considered evidence that you were legally at fault.
DON’T agree to settlement terms without contacting your attorney.