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What to Do After a Car Accident

What to Do After a Car Accident

An unexpected 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, click here.

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 lawyer.