Personal Injury Lawyer
If there is vehicle damage or someone was injured, it is important that you call the cops after a car accident. An officer can arrive at the scene to write an official incident report. When talking with the officer, explain how you saw the accident happen in your perspective. As upset as you may be, try to stick to facts only and never accept blame for the accident. Calling law enforcement is a key step in properly documenting what happened for both insurance purposes and in the event you file a lawsuit.
Q: What can I do to handle the situation?
A: Protecting your health and legal rights is crucial when involved in a car accident, especially if you were not at fault. Notifying the police can be one of the best ways to safeguard your interests. If you are in an accident, consider taking these steps when handling the scene:
- Assess your health first. As you get out of the car, take a look around and evaluate yourself for injuries. You may in a state of shock due to the collision. Try to remain calm and focus on whether you need emergency medical attention.
- Document damage through photographs. Take pictures of both vehicle damages, and your visible injuries. Do not leave the scene until you have taken pictures and even videos too, as these can be vital pieces of evidence for your insurance claim and lawsuit.
- Know what information to exchange. When talking with the other driver, never apologize, admit fault, or make statements about who is responsible. You can debate who is at-fault later through your insurance company or attorney. In the moment, focus on exchanging information such as name, address, insurance carrier, policy number, license plate number, make/model of car, and driver’s license number.
- Get a copy of the police report. Once the officer has arrived and taken a report of what happened, ask how you can get a copy of this in the days to follow. In most cases, you can request a copy at your local law enforcement office. To help locate this document, ask for the officer’s name, badge number, and report number.
- Get medical treatment immediately. It cannot be emphasized enough how valuable it is to get a medical evaluation after a car accident, and the sooner the better. It can help your case to have a starting point for when your injuries were first examined, and costs associated with treatment. Your attorney, like a personal injury lawyer in Trenton, NJ, can then help you fight for the compensation you need to pay for medical bills.
Q: It is necessary I hire an attorney for my car accident?
A: It is strongly encouraged that you get legal help, particularly for serious accidents where there was substantial injuries, damages, and losses. If you don’t, you may get easily taken advantage of by insurance companies and adjusters. Many victims of car accidents meet with an attorney promptly after the accident for guidance.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Davis & Brusca, LLC for their insight into personal injury.