What to do when you’ve been involved in a serious accident
Everyone reacts to trauma differently. Some people feel the need to be active and do something to try and fix the situation or help others. Other people shut down and don’t do anything. A person may become confrontational, aggressive or argumentative, while others will become very dependent on others, agreeing with whatever someone else says.
Unfortunately, the extreme behaviors we engage in immediately after an accident can put our wellbeing at risk in the future when pursuing a legal claim. If you are involved in a serious automobile accident, remember these key do’s and don’ts to help you stay in control of your case now and in the future.
- DON’T panic. Keeping your cool can make a big difference as you exchange information and gather evidence
- DON’T leave the scene. Chances are, you had somewhere you wanted to be when an accident happened, but leaving the scene puts you at a disadvantage, especially if the other driver calls law enforcement or if anyone was injured
- DON’T admit fault. In fact, try to say as little as possible. Even if you are not responsible for the accident, mentioning any kind of distraction, car issue or other detail can come up in a hearing or during arbitration and adversely affect your compensation
- DO get as much information as you can. Gather as much information as you can about the driver, their license information, insurance credentials and details about their car. It can also help to photograph the scene and make note of all damage to both vehicles
- DO call 9-1-1. Or, if no one is injured, you can also call a local police station directly to have a police officer come out to the scene. Having the accident on record will make it easier to prove details about the accident later
- DO call an attorney. Chances are, once the accident is over, insurance companies will start getting involved. While your insurance company can help you get compensation for your car, an experienced traffic attorney can help you secure damages for any personal injuries you sustained, and following the tips above will make their job a lot easier.
The attorneys at Mallon & McCool, LLC, have experience representing drivers who have been involved in a car accident. They help build a case to prove that you were not responsible for the accident and that you are entitled to your rightful amount of compensation, both for your vehicle and for your own recovery. They encourage anyone who’s been in an automobile accident to contact them at their Baltimore offices.