What to do after a motor vehicle accident

Operating a motor vehicle comes with a certain amount of risk. As technology has improved, we have found new and creative ways to make driving safer, but we cannot eliminate the risk entirely. Because of their mass and the speeds at which they travel, even vehicles involved in minor accidents can have major consequences.

The possibility of being in a motor vehicle accident is often enough to convince people to drive carefully, but accidents often happen when we least expect them. Being involved in a vehicle accident can be a terrifying experience, but knowing what to do after an accident can provide drivers with confidence and a way to exercise some control over an otherwise chaotic situation.

Medical attention

Once an accident occurs, the safety and well being of everyone involved should be the highest priority. It is important make sure that the scene is safe so that more people are not injured while trying to help. Anyone who is injured should get appropriate medical attention as soon as possible.

While being examined by a medical professional is primarily good for a person's health, keep in mind that having a medical exam on record may be helpful in any insurance claims that take place after the accident.

Documentation

As soon as you know everyone is safe, document the scene as well as you possibly can. Perhaps the best way to do this is by getting detailed pictures of the scene from all angles. You should be sure to get pictures of the vehicles, the area and any injuries and/or damage that occurred.

Information

If possible, collect as much information as you can. Relevant information includes,

  • Personal information of everyone involved
    • Phone numbers
    • License plate numbers
    • Insurance information
  • Contact information of any witnesses
  • Names and badge numbers of any law enforcement officers involved

It is important to remember that you should be cautious about discussing the event with anyone besides your legal representative, your insurance company and law enforcement officers.

Records

One of the best things you can do after an accident is to keep detailed records. Any bills or receipts or reports should be filed away and made accessible for later use. Any information regarding the accident can be very useful in any legal issues that come after.

These types of accidents can be frightening and overwhelming. Knowing what steps to take after an accident can give you a way to focus on improving the situation, but you do not have to go about this process alone. There are people who specialize in these types of issues. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is highly recommended that you obtain the services of an experienced and knowledgeable legal professional.

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