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  • Writer's pictureKia Hohaia

What To Do (& Not Do) In An Accident

Updated: Jul 5, 2022

On any given day, you will find yourself driving, whether for your commute, errands, or just for fun. Unfortunately, at any given moment on the road, an accident can happen. Suddenly everything can come crashing to a halt, and in those moments, the adrenaline can be so intense it can be difficult to know what to do. With these simple do’s and don’ts, you can be prepared in unexpected situations like a car accident.

Right after an accident happens…

DO check to see if anyone has been injured in the accident.

Whether yourself, your passengers, or other drivers, you always want to first determine if anyone is in need of medical attention so you can call 911 right away.

DO call 911.

Even if no one has been visibly hurt, it is always smart to call the police to the scene of the accident. They will document all of the details of the accident and talk to both parties involved to create an accident report. This document can prove very helpful in determining who was at fault.

DON’T leave the scene unless you need immediate medical attention.

While you may be in a hurry and unharmed, it is critical that you stay at the scene of the accident until the cops and you have been able to collect all of the necessary information. Leaving quickly could leave you at risk for being deemed at fault since you won’t be able to give your side of the story.

DON’T admit fault or apologize to the other driver.

While you may feel confident that you are 100% at fault, you may be missing some critical details about the facts of the crash. Before taking full responsibility for the accident, wait and provide details only to the police.

While on the scene of the accident…

DON’T try to move your vehicle.

This is especially important if your car is not safe to drive. Even if the car is driveable, it is important to leave the car where it stopped after the crash. This can help the police determine how the accident happened. As long as the car isn’t posing a direct physical hazard to other drivers, it is best to put on your hazard lights and leave things exactly where they landed.

DO take photos of the accident.

Pictures are worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to car wrecks. These photos are the best way to tell the story of the accident and can provide inarguable insight into the nature of the crash. Be sure to capture photos of both vehicles at the scene, close-ups of any physical damage sustained, and at least one picture of the other car’s license plate number.

DO collect the other driver’s information.

Be sure to write down their full name, phone number, insurance information, and driver’s license number. If you can, take a picture of the person’s driver’s license and insurance card since writing things down in these situations can be quite tricky and may result in illegible handwriting.

DO ask for information from witnesses of the accident.

The drivers or pedestrians that witnessed the accident as a third-party can provide an invaluable, unbiased account of what happened. These testimonies can help support by mitigating the issue of “he said, she said” from cropping up later on.

After the accident…

DO go to the doctor.

Even if you are certain you do not have any injuries, it is crucial to have a medical professional examine you just in case. Many car accident injuries go unnoticed within the first few days after an accident, so it is important to get checked out right away to catch any unseen or hidden injuries.

DON’T talk to the other party’s insurance company yet.

Their main goal is to collect information to use to support their insured, which means they may be looking for opportunities to use anything and everything you say against you in an insurance claim. Before speaking to the insurance company, talk to a personal injury lawyer to first understand your rights and get legal counsel on how to navigate this often delicate situation.

By following these do’s and don’ts, you can ensure your rights and health are the first priority. If you have recently been injured in an accident, talk to Hohaia Law to learn more about the next steps to pursue the compensation you deserve.

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