- Call 911 if anyone is hurt.
- If there is possibly an issue of fault, leave the vehicles as is and wait for
police to arrive. It often helps in their investigation.
Get All Crucial Information
Get all crucial information
- Most information will be on the police report, but you should make sure to have all the necessary information to file a claim, like the drivers’ name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver license number and license plate number for the driver and the owner of each vehicle.
- You will also need this information to fill out an accident report with the
local police department. These reports are typically available at police
stations and the DMV website (www.massrmv.com).
Notify the police
- If there are no injuries, they may not dispatch an officer to the location.
- It is always a good idea to call the police to any accident.
They will be sure to gather all of the critical information required
and complete any investigation at the scene, including speaking to
witnesses. This fact finding could be essential to any potential claim
you may have for property damage or injury.
Don’t discuss the accident
Don’t discuss the accident
with the other driver
- Blaming the other person ( even if it’s clearly their fault) will only cause
an argument and can cause dispute later on. Let the police (or attorney
if it goes that far) solve that issue.
- Anything you say or do at the scene can be used against you at a later
time if it is damaging to you. For example, if you lose control at the
accident and argue with the other driver, an insurance company may
question your credibility, likeability (with a jury) and demeanor and offer
you less compensation. Remember, always stay calm and get the
information you need. Wait for the police and speak with them.
- If there are witnesses to the accident, collect their information.
They can testify to what happened if needed. Again, their testimony may
be critical to the success of any potential claim you may have.
- If no one is around, take note of any traffic cameras or other store
cameras in the area.
Make a record of what happened
- While it’s still fresh in your mind, jot notes down of the accident.
Your memory of the incident will fade over time, so take the time
to write down everything you can.
- If you can, use your cell phone to take a picture of the car damage,
the road of damaged property, and any injuries that may have happened.
Call Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance company
- Most insurance policies require you to report an accident as soon as practically possible. If you don’t do this, it is possible they can deny you coverages that you have paid for.
- As for the other driver’s insurance company, do not give any statements
to them or lots of detail about any injury you may have sustained.
Their adjuster may act very friendly to you, but don’t be deceived.
They are in the business of making money. If they can deny your claim
or pay you less, they will.
- Don’t panic when you get into an accident.
- If the accident caused injuries or property damage, know your rights.
Getting medical bills paid and lost wages reimbursed can be a difficult
and long process.
- Contact an experienced car accident attorney for a free
consultation of your legal rights and what you may be entitled to.
The injury lawyer can explain to you what your next best steps
should be based on your situation.