When people are involved in automobile accidents, there is a lot of confusion to go along with the stress of the moment. Police are generally called and we expect that they will conduct thorough investigations so that fault for the accident can be determined. Unfortunately, a good investigation goes beyond merely giving someone a traffic ticket. What police do not do is often crucial later on when there have been injuries. So, here are some things that you can do after you have been in an accident which can help you later:
1. Call police. Sometimes police will not respond, specifically if the accident occurs in a parking lot and there is no apparent injuries, but you must call them anyway to report the accident. Additionally, failure to report an accident can result in charges being filed against you by law enforcement. Don’t take any chances.
2. Give police a detailed statement of what happened. This allows you to have a source of recollection later on, often times many months or even years later if a lawsuit has to be brought on your behalf. Make sure to report any injuries you are feeling at the time and where you are experiencing any pain.
3. Call your insurance company and report the collision. Most likely your insurance contract requires it and failure to make a report could be a violation of your contract with them.
4. Take photos of the accident scene. We recognize that most people don’t carry cameras in their car, but most people do carry cell phones with cameras in them. Pick up your cell phone and shoot pictures from different angles. Also take pictures of your injuries both right after the accident and a couple of days afterward. This is because most injuries become easily visible after a couple of days.
5. If you are injured, see a doctor immediately. We will talk more about this aspect in future installments.