Involved In A Car Accident? 5 Things You Should Do
I’m going to share some free advice with you today- something that people don’t often get from lawyers. This information is about what to do if you are involved in an automobile accident. I have over 30 years handling motor vehicle accidents (MVA). 10 years working for insurance companies and the next twenty up until the present time representing victims of accidents.
When people are involved in car accidents they forget a few things while they are at the scene because its an upsetting time and, time moves quickly. It’s important to remember these 5 tips.
- REPORTS: Make sure you get the Accident Information Exchange from the police. This is the name, address, vehicle information, insurance information, etc. that the police put into a report. Sometimes you will receive a document from them with these details. Other times, you will only receive a report number. If you only get the report number, at lease jot down the plate number(s) and the names of the drivers involved. If its easier, take pictures of license plates and driver’s licenses and insurance cards.
- ADMISSIONS: If you are at fault, whether partially or fully, do not admit fault. You can say you are sorry that the accident happened, but do not accept responsibility. Avoid saying things like, “Sorry, I was on my phone”, “I didn’t see you, where did you come from”, “I tried to stop”. Also, don’t blame the accident on your vehicle. (“My brakes failed”)
- PICTURES/VIDEO: Make sure you take pictures or video, or have somebody do that. If you have a dash cam, save the recording as soon as possible. Look for traffic cameras that may have captured the accident on video.
- WITNESSES: Collect names of witnesses because even though there may be witnesses at the scene, the police don’t always record the information- that’s a surprise to many people. Often times police officers speak with people at the scene, they shrug them off and then they don’t collect the information. Many times the witnesses’ information is crucial, so make sure you collect information that would allow us to contact them. Obtain as much information as your can, such as: name, phone number, e-mail and home address.
- SAFETY FIRST: Also, many times people don’t move their cars out of the way or get themselves to a safe location, they stand in the middle of the road waiting for emergency personnel. This is dangerous. If the vehicles can’t be moved, get far away from them, so that you aren’t in the path, if someone else drives into the disabled vehicles. Avoid making a bad situation worse for you, the other drivers and the first responders.
Contact emergency personnel, get yourself to a safe place, wait for the emergency personnel and try to collect some information while you’re there. When you leave the scene, it is very important to contact an experienced attorney.
Find out what your rights are as soon as possible and protect them! You should call me, even if you don’t think you are going to bring a claim or a lawsuit. Your injuries may appear later. What you say and do at the onset may affect your rights later. I have extensive experience and I offer a no-obligation, free consultation to people to give you information about your rights to explain how the process works. When you retain us, there is no legal fee, until I recover money for you – my fee is contingent upon getting a recovery for you. Our office phone number is 631-486-9500 and my answering service will connect us anytime and any day. Hopefully you are not involved in an accident, If you, a friend or family member are involved in a car accident, call me, I can help.
James F. Leonick
Leonick Law, P.L.L.C.
TEL: (631) 486-9500