The moments after an accident, even one that you might consider relatively minor, will be hectic and you may struggle to collect your thoughts. It’s sensible to think every once in a while, about what you will do if you’re involved in a collision.
Imagine this common scenario: You’ve just merged onto the highway on your commute home. Suddenly the car in front of you stops short. You’ve maintained responsible distance and stopped with nothing more than a deep breath and you exhale in relief. The car behind you, on the other hand, screeches into your rear bumper. Now what?
Stay Calm and Call for Help
If you aren’t hurt, count it as a blessing. Don’t discount the possibility you may experience pain when the adrenaline wears off, but that also doesn’t have to be your immediate concern. Call for emergency assistance. If you or someone in the other car has immediate signs of injury, getting EMS to the scene is important, and in any circumstance, request a police response as well.
Stay Safe, but Maintain the Integrity of the Scene, If Possible
If the involved vehicles are disrupting traffic in a manner that makes it dangerous to any of the participants in the accident, move to mitigate the risk from further harm. But don’t completely leave the scene by moving to an offsite location, even for a minor accident.
Be Your Own Advocate: Make Sure You Have Everything You Need
Make sure you have the other driver’s contact and insurance information, take pictures of the scene and vehicles, and document their plate number. If there are any witnesses, it would be valuable to get their contact information and basic description of what they witnessed. This information and the police report will be important.
Call Shlesinger & de Villeneuve Before Your Insurance Company
Don’t entangle yourself with assessing fault or trying to maneuver the early stages of an investigation without legal counsel. You certainly shouldn’t talk to the other party’s insurance company initially, and it may also be best not to talk to your own until you’ve had a chance to talk to an attorney.
One more proactive step: save Shlesinger & de Villeneuve’s contact information in your phone now so you know you’re ready for the unexpected.