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What To Do If You Are In a Car Accident

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I was recently in a car accident where I was rear ended while stopped for a light. Luckily, I wasn’t injured, unlike many of our own clients who are not as fortunate. I learned a few things first hand after being in a recent accident and I would like to them share with you for your own protection.

– If you have a smart phone or camera, take pictures of the vehicles at the accident scene, documenting the damage and location of the vehicles, of course, assuming that you can do that in a safe and reasonable manner.

– Take down the name, address, and phone number of each driver. Make sure you obtain their insurance information, including the name of their company, phone number and policy number.

– Write down the names of any witnesses, including their address and phone number.

– Contact your insurance company as soon as you can to let them know you were in an accident.

– Be polite and respectful to the investigating officer. If you are asked if you were hurt and need assistance, it is important for the investigating officer to know that right away.

I also learned there are things you need to avoid.

– Do not discuss how the accident happened with anyone at the accident scene. If the investigating officer asks you what happened, obviously you should explain in a direct and respectful way to the investigating officer what happened, but not with anyone else. Do NOT admit fault to any of the other drivers for any reason!

– Do not discuss resolving legal issues at the accident scene with anyone. If the other driver suggests working things out without calling the police, avoid doing so. You should always call the police after your accident.

– After the accident, do not give any statements over the phone to the other driver’s insurance company. Likewise, do not sign any authorizations for release of confidential medical or work related information.

It is always good advice to call an attorney experienced in personal injury and accident cases to provide you with counsel on what to do after you leave the accident scene.

– If you are injured, you should immediately seek medical help by going to the hospital or clinic.

– You should take your car in for an independent estimate as to the damage before the insurance company sends out an adjuster to view your car so you know exactly the dollar amount it will take to repair your car.

– Lastly, make an appointment to talk to a personal injury lawyer to make sure your rights are protected. Even if you are not injured, an accident lawyer can provide sound advice as to how to go about getting your car repaired and paid for by the other driver’s insurance company in an expeditious and fair manner. Karp & Iancu, S.C., has experience for over 34 years in handling personal injury cases.

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