What to Do After an Accident
How an Experienced Columbus Car and Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
For most drivers, an automobile accident is what happens to someone else. But even the most cautious drivers may be involved in an auto accident, sometimes through no fault of their own. It's important for all drivers to be prepared and be aware of what to do after an accident in Central Ohio.
If you were injured or a loved one was injured or killed in a car accident, get in touch with the Smith Law Office today for a free and confidential consultation with a Columbus car accident lawyer. Act quickly. A delay may affect your right to pursue compensation from the negligent individual or business.
Follow these steps if you are involved in a car accident:
- Stay calm. When auto accidents occur, it's normal for people involved to feel anxious and upset. When you're agitated, you may forget to seek necessary information that could help you in the long run. Accidents are traumatic, especially if you sustain injuries. Try to keep a cool head.
- Obtain medical help. Call 911 and request an ambulance if someone is injured, or if you think someone may be injured.
- Call the police. The police will make a report of the facts of the accident. Cooperate and be polite with law enforcement, but do not admit fault, even if you think you caused the accident. Tell them if you think someone was driving under the influence or was otherwise distracted while driving. Stay at the scene until they give you permission to leave.
- Gather information. Obtain information from those involved in the accident, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians and witnesses. Most people will be cooperative while police are at the scene. Once you leave the scene, your chances of getting important information from people decreases. Collect the following information:
- Full names
- Phone numbers
- License plate numbers
- Make and model of cars
- Insurance status of driver
- Name of person to whom the vehicle is registered
- Get statements from witnesses. Look around the accident scene and gather information from people who may have witnessed the accident. Don't discuss the accident with the witnesses; ask them questions. Their statements may be valuable in protecting you. A witness may have heard an admission of guilt from the other driver or the witness may have seen the driver operating negligently. Also ask if they have witnessed any previous accidents at that location. Write down the information they tell you. Be sure to ask for the witnesses' names, addresses and phone numbers.
- Don't admit fault. Don't apologize or tell anyone, including the police, that you were at fault in the accident, even if you think you were. Any admission of fault may affect your rights.
- Do not give statements to other drivers' insurance company representatives. Don't sign any document or give any statements unless it is for the police or your own insurance agent.
- Take photos of the accident scene. If you have a camera, photograph the accident scene, including street signs, skid marks and damage to vehicles. Most people can use a cellphone, but you can also keep a disposable camera in your glove compartment.
- Take notes about the accident. Your notes can include how the accident occurred, the time of day, weather conditions, the damage to vehicles, names and badge numbers of the police officers who came to the scene or if any vehicles were towed from the scene. Find out if there was damage to any vehicles prior to the accident, such as non-functioning brake lights. Ask if any vehicles were company owned. Write down if anyone is taking blame for the accident.
- Inform your insurance company. Tell your insurance company that you were involved in an accident. Cooperate with your agent. But if your insurance company is not cooperating, seek legal help immediately. Scott Smith is an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbus who is skilled at dealing with insurance companies.
- Call an attorney. This is important if you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in an accident or significant property damage. An attorney like Scott Smith can explain the law and your legal rights and can help you get compensation for personal injuries or property damage.
Contact a Reliable Car Accident Attorney in Columbus, Ohio, today
Let us represent you. Call 888-311-5297 today for your free personal injury consultation. When you are represented by the Smith Law Office , you don't have to worry about putting money up front. You don't pay us any fees unless we make a recovery in your case. You can afford an experienced attorney in Central Ohio!