What You should Do at the Scene of Any Car or Truck Accident
If you are ever involved in a truck or car accident – especially when a personal injury has occurred – there are certain things you should do, if you are physically able. Taking these actions can help ensure that you preserve your right to make a claim for damages.
Assess Your Situation
The first thing you should do after an auto accident is to assess the physical condition of yourself and anyone who is a passenger in your vehicle. If there is anyone in the vehicle complaining of an injury, you should call 9-1-1 right away, or ask someone at the scene to do so. Even if you have suffered non-life-threatening injuries, you should contact the police as quickly as possible.
Gather Information Related to the Accident
The second step, if you are in overall good physical condition, is to start to collect information about the accident. It is a good idea to keep a pen and notebook in your vehicle at all times for situations such as this. After all, you can’t always rely on the police to collect all the information you are going to need.
Some of the information you should try to gather, and write down, include:
- Name and contact information of all drivers of the other vehicles involved in the accident
- Name and contact information of any passengers in your vehicle and other vehicles involved
- Record the license number, make, and model of all the vehicles involved
- Gather information of witnesses to the accident
- Gather the name of each police officer at the scene
- If you have access to a camera, take pictures of the accident and the damage that occurred
Listen Rather than Talking
You should never volunteer any information to people who were involved in the accident. Instead, be an active listener. If another one of the drivers involved tells you it was their fault, then write down who said it and exactly what they said.
Speak to the Police
When the police arrive at the scene of the accident, you are likely going to be asked to describe what happened. Make sure you are as thorough as possible. As the claim for damages progresses, the police report is going to be an essential tool used by attorneys and insurance adjusters.
Call for Legal Advice and Guidance
While seeking medical attention is a given, you should also contact a personal injury lawyer as soon after the accident as possible. The sooner they are called, the sooner they can begin collecting evidence for your personal injury claim.