It’s freezing cold outside, the wind is howling, and with each passing hour the snowflakes get thicker. The accumulation on the ground doesn’t show any signs of stopping. You should probably stay inside, but you’re determined to see the new Star Wars movie.
You make it out of the driveway, and despite the low visibility, you trek forward. You drive slowly and gingerly on the main road to avoid slipping and sliding. While at a red light you notice someone behind you driving at a high speed and not taking the serious conditions seriously. The next thing you know, they’ve lost control of the vehicle and slam right into your car.
So what do you do? Here are six vital steps from our legal professionals at Cronin Trial Lawyers describing what you should do if you’re in an accident.
1. Try to move to a safe area: To move your car out of harm’s way and not get in the way of traffic, attempt to move your car to the shoulder of the road. If the damage is so substantial that it can’t be moved, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers that the car isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
2. Call the police: If someone has been seriously injured or if there’s extensive damage to the vehicle, the police need to be contacted. When they arrive at the scene, ask for a police report to be filed. The report is valuable when dealing with other drivers and your insurance company alike.
3. Gather information: Following the accident, try and gather as much information as possible. This includes obtaining driver and passenger names, license plate numbers, location of the accident, the name and badge number of your helping officer, contact information from witnesses, the make of the vehicle and insurance information.
4. Take pictures: If you have a smartphone with camera capabilities, snap a couple of pictures of the scene. These will be important during the claim process.
5. Contact your insurance company: Call your insurance company and explain to them that you’ve been in an accident. Make sure to be honest and truthful when describing the incident and the extent of your injuries.
6. Hire an experienced attorney: It’s important to contact an experienced attorney if you’d like to either maximize your recovery if injured or defend yourself if you’re the one at fault.
If you find yourself in a car accident, don’t hesitate to fill out a contact form for a free consultation. Clients in Philadelphia can reach out to Cronin Trial Lawyers by calling (215) 664-8272 and interested parties in New Jersey by dialing (856) 368-2600.