Victims of car accidents can ease the stress of the process by following these tips.
According to the most recent data from the New Jersey Department of Transportation, there were 32,771 car accidents in Bergen County in 2014 alone. Getting into an accident is stressful, but having a basic understanding of what you can do immediately following and in the weeks after an accident can help ease the process.
Got Into a Car Wreck? Here’s What to Do First.
For those first few moments after the accident, it is wise to keep the following in mind:
Remain at the scene. Do not leave the scene of the accident. Check on others involved in the accident to see if there are any injuries. Contact an ambulance if needed. If there are injuries or serious damage to a vehicle, contact the police.
Gather information. Get information from others involved in the accident. This includes contact information, insurance information and drivers’ license numbers as well as general impressions. Make note if the other driver smells like he or she was drinking or any odd behaviors. Also keep record of any law enforcement officers or paramedics that were on the scene. Record their names and whether or not anyone received treatment.
Be cautious. Although you should share contact and insurance information with others involved in the accident, do not share unnecessary information. Avoid apologizing for the accident as this could result in liability.
After the initial moments of the accident have passed, it is wise to prepare for the next phase.
Managing the Details of the Accident? Here’s How to Protect Yourself.
One of the most important things for victims of accidents to do is organize information about the crash. If police were called, get a copy of the police report. If a vehicle was damaged, a damage valuation was likely completed by your insurance provider. If so, get a copy of this document as well.
It is also wise for those injured in an accident to keep copies of all medical care received for the injury and keep a journal describing the injury and any changes that may occur. This information can aid both the medical professionals treating the injury and may provide additional evidence of the injury, if needed. This journal can also be used to keep track of any phone calls or conversations about the accident.
It is also important to be wary of conversations with insurance companies. It is best to refrain from speaking with a representative of the other party’s insurance company. Instead, speak with your own insurance providers and legal counsel. One of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself is to get a lawyer. An experienced auto accident attorney will be able to advocate for your interests, working to better ensure your rights and any remedies are protected.