So, with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it seems that most drivers are in a rush to get wherever they are heading. Problem is, these same drivers are also highly distracted with holiday stress, cell phones, holiday lights, and an early dusk and nightfall. When one of these distracted drivers (hopefully not you) causes an accident, that holiday stress quickly becomes a whole new stress headache to deal with. Not to mention the physical and psychological injuries caused by the impact of vehicles crashing. Let’s face it, people are injured when they are occupying large metal containers on wheels that collide.
If you find yourself in an unfortunate situation such as this, here are some DOs:
- DO: Remain calm. Everyone has video recording equipment available to them. If you are hurt in the accident, and eventually bring a claim against the other driver, no one (that is, a jury) wants to see you ranting and raving and cursing out the other driver. However, if the other driver is belligerent, well … camera on …
- DO: Use your smartphone camera to take photos and video of the accident scene. Be sure to show the vehicles involved (including the position of the vehicles relative to each other), the damage caused, and any other important information at the scene. Also take photos of the other driver’s credentials, including their insurance card and drivers license.
- DO: Call the police. The police will document the event in a police accident report, as well as interview any witnesses to the event. Also advise the police that you are injured if you feel any pain. This way they can make note of your injury in the police report. Be sure to tell the police officer(s) your version of what happened.
- DO: Ask for an ambulance if you think your are injured. If you later bring a claim for injuries, your adversaries love to point out that you didn’t ask for medical attention at the scene of the accident.
- DO: Seek medical attention after the accident if you are feeling any pain. If you are hurt and later bring a claim, any delay in medical treatment causes question as to the veracity of your claim.
Here are some DO NOTs:
- DO NOT: Do not rant and rave and curse out the other driver. (See above)
- DO NOT: Do not forget to ask the other driver for their credentials, including drivers license and insurance information.
- DO NOT: Do not fail to call the police. Not only will your automobile insurance company request this in order to process any claims, you will likely need a police report to bring any claim against the other driver. Although it is possible to still bring a claim without the report, it is extremely difficult to prove your claim without a police report.
- DO NOT: Do not ignore your injuries. If you are injured, be sure to seek medical treatment. This will provide you with the medical treatment you need, plus it will document your injuries if you later bring a claim for personal injury.
- DO NOT: Do not fail to review the police report when it is ready. Everyone is human, and sometimes there are mistakes made on the police report. If the description of the accident is wrong, or there is something wrong with your statement in the police report, advise the police and request that the report be revised. At the very least, you will be provided the chance to add an addendum to the report with your statement as to why the report is inaccurate. This addendum will be attached to the police report for future use.
When you are involved in an automobile collision, your stress levels skyrocket and adrenaline pumps. However, be sure to protect your rights if you are injured.
If you are in an accident and need more information, please contact the Law Offices of William S. Peck to discuss your options and to protect your rights.