We all have different reactions to stressful situations, and it’s hard to know how you’ll act until you’re in the moment. Mental rehearsal can nonetheless be valuable, which is why it’s a good idea to think through the scenario of a car accident in case you ever find yourself in one.
First Steps: Assess The Scene And All Potential Victims
No matter how the accident happened, you should:
- Check to make sure that all drivers and passengers are not still in danger of being struck or injured. Move to the side of the road if you are not already out of harm’s way.
- Ask each person involved if they are seriously injured. If someone says “yes” or is unable to answer, call 911 immediately.
- If there are minor injuries (or no apparent injuries), it is still a good idea to call for help, either in the form of a police car, an ambulance or both.
Next Steps: Survey The Scene, Collect And Preserve Evidence
Once everyone is out of immediate danger, it’s time to take a closer look at what happened:
- Visually assess the amount of damage to all vehicles involved, and take pictures if you can.
- Write down license plate numbers and exchange insurance information with other drivers.
- Call police to the scene, have them file a report and provide them with your license and insurance information.
- Give factual answers when asked, but avoid giving a detailed statement until you’ve had time to think it over and consult with an attorney.
Here are some things to avoid:
- Do not admit fault for the crash.
- Do not say things like “I’m OK” or “I’m not hurt.” You may not know the extent of your injuries until examined by a doctor.
- Do not make any statements about fault, liability or blame — especially statements that could limit your ability to pursue legal action later.
- Do not give more information to insurance companies than what is immediately necessary.
- Be very wary of signing any documents, and do not sign anything without reading it carefully.
After Being Allowed To Leave The Scene
- Seek medical attention if you feel (or even suspect) that you need to be examined for injuries.
- Pay attention to signs of injury or pain over the next few days.
- Write down everything you can remember about the accident. You may need it later.
- Call a personal injury attorney to learn more about your rights and legal options.
Contact Us For A Free Consultation
Dimopoulos Law Firm is located in Las Vegas and serves clients throughout the area. To discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer who really listens, call us at 702-476-0005. You can also fill out our secure online contact form.