car accident can be unnerving; it can leave your heart racing and your adrenaline rushing.
For this reason, it’s important you know the proper post-accident
procedures ahead of time, when you’re calm and levelheaded.
Here, we explain what to do after a car accident. The information provided
below can help you say and do the right things after an accident, and
it can make the claims process smoother and less stressful.
1. Move your vehicle to a safe place (if possible).
If you’re seriously injured, it’s not safe to move your car
out of harm’s way, but if it is possible, move your vehicle over
to the shoulder of the road to avoid another accident. If this is impractical,
turn on your hazard lights to warn oncoming vehicles.
2. Do not flee the scene.
After a car accident, you are legally required to stop your vehicle and
get out (assuming you are not injured too badly). Before getting out,
make sure it’s safe to exit your vehicle. If it is, walk over to
the other vehicle(s) involved and make sure everyone is alright. If a
bicyclist, motorcyclist, or pedestrian was involved, check on them too.
If anyone is injured, call 911. If you flee the scene, even if it wasn’t
your fault, you’re breaking the law and can be charged with leaving
the scene of an accident.
3. Call the police.
Even if the accident was minor, you still want to call the police to the
scene and have them file a police report. When dealing with another auto
insurance company and an at-fault driver, the police report is not only
invaluable, it serves as critical evidence.
4. Never admit fault.
A lot of drivers make the mistake of saying, “It’s all my fault.
I am sorry.” Don’t make this mistake! You should definitely
cooperate with the police and be polite to the other driver(s) involved
in the crash, but never admit fault or take the blame. Instead, let the
police and the insurance companies objectively evaluate the crash and
determine who is at fault.
If the accident was minor and the police never showed up to the scene of
the crash, you can file a police report at the local station in person.
To contact the Buffalo Police Department about filing a police report
or obtaining a copy of your accident report,
5. Document the accident.
If you have a smartphone, use the camera to take pictures of both vehicles
and any questionable road conditions to document the accident scene. It
is important to document any damage to the vehicles, skid marks, damage
debris in the roadway, and the resting position of each vehicle. These
pictures will be useful during the claims process.
Injured in a car accident? Contact The Rossi Law Firm
to schedule a consultation with a Buffalo personal injury