Do’s and Dont’s in the immediate aftermath of a car accident

June 5, 2020

Learn about the mistakes drivers often make following an accident that can wreak havoc on their physical, legal, and financial freedom

What to do - and what not to do - in the immediate aftermath of a car accidentCar accidents are a scary reality, and statistics show their startling prevalence. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2018, 36,750 deaths resulted from car accidents. In New Jersey, there were 624 deaths attributed to auto accidents between 2016 and 2017, according to NHTSA data.

Thankfully, car accidents don’t always cause physical harm, but they can damage your insurance standing and financial stability if the direct aftermath of the accident isn’t handled with care.

Below is a list of mistakes drivers often make following an accident that wreaks havoc on their physical, legal, and financial freedom. Be informed about what to do – and what not to do – following an accident to ensure that you consciously protect your rights.

Don’t:

Do not leave the scene of the accident before police officials arrive.

Do not admit fault for the accident.

Even if you believe the accident was your fault, it is important to not make any comments that implicitly or explicitly claim fault. A number of factors cause an accident, and especially in the immediate aftermath of the accident, stress factors can cloud awareness and judgment. The role of an insurance company and authorities is to determine who was at fault for the accident, including partial fault; provide only facts from your perspective of the accident.

Do:

Stay put.

Legally, you are required to ensure that everyone involved in the accident is physically safe and free from harm.

Call an ambulance

If you or anyone involved has suffered an injury, even if it feels minor. Adrenaline caused by an accident can block our bodies from feeling the full extent of an injury until the initial stress response to the accident has passed. If you feel any pain, seek medical care.

Exchange insurance and contact information with the other involved parties.

Exchange insurance and contact information with the other involved parties.Having the insurance, license plate, and contact information of the others is essential to ensuring that you are compensated for damages to your physical body or automobile as a result of the accident. Upon receiving medical attention if necessary and filing a police report, contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to provide them with the insurance information of the other party, the police report number, and an account of the accident. Keep a journal of the accident and its direct aftermath, as well as the status of your physical body and the time and date of any follow-up physical symptoms or appointments you have that are directly related to the accident. All of this information will be important to your claim and your successful recovery of damages.

Contact authorities to file a police report.

Even if the damage seems minor, it is important to file a police report in the case that it becomes clear later that a claim needs to be filed. The authority’s report can help to objectively iron out any conflicting details and add information that involved parties may overlook. Additionally, involving authorities can insure that your rights to compensation are protected in the case that the other party involved does not have auto insurance, which is more common than one would think. Don’t let other drivers convince you to not contact authorities to file a police report. This could be a sign that they do not have the proper insurance to cover any claims that may arise as a result of the accident.

Get in touch with a West Long Branch Auto Accident and Injury Law Firm Today

If you have recently been in an accident, seek medical attention immediately if necessary. Then contact a member of our experienced legal team at Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh to learn the next steps to ensure you receive your fair share of compensation for damages caused to your person or vehicle.

If you reside in West Long Branch, Red Bank, Colts Neck, Asbury Park, and across Monmouth County, contact our convenient office located at 268 Norwood Ave, West Long Branch, NJ 07764, today discuss your personal injury case, call 732-440-3950 or fill out our online contact form. It costs nothing for us to review your case and determine if we would pursue a claim on a contingency basis.