What to do if you are involved in an accident.
1. Stop! It is a crime to leave the scene of an accident, whether or not the accident was your fault, whether or not you are in a hurry.
2. If anyone is injured, summon help. A phone call to 911, by you or by anyone passing by, is often the best way.
3. You will need to talk to the other drivers to get identification information from them. Do not discuss how the accident happened or lay blame or admit blame. Get the following information from all the other drivers:
a. The full name, address, phone number, and driver's license number;
b. The make, model, year, color and license plate of all vehicles involved;
c. The full name, address and phone number of the registered owner of the vehicles involved, if different from the driver;
d. Insurance information, including insurance company, name of the insured person, and the insurance policy number.
4. Get the name, address, and telephone number of all witnesses. If you don't get this information now, then you will never find those witnesses later, and you may need them.
5. Wait for the police to arrive. A police investigation is extremely helpful in gathering all the information that may be needed later on to prove whose fault the accident was. If the police say that they will not come, then gather the information yourself as best you can, and report to the nearest police station, where you should fill out a form reporting the accident.
6. If you feel at all injured or unwell, get medical attention as soon as you leave the accident location. Do not delay -- injuries can turn out to be more serious than they seem at first.
7. Notify your insurance company of the accident, whether or not you think you were at fault.
If you had "P.I.P." coverage on the vehicle you were using, this will cover your medical bills for at least a year after the accident, or $10,000, whichever comes first, regardless of who was at fault in causing the accident. If you were a pedestrian or on a bicycle, PIP coverage on the car that hit you will cover your medical expenses.
If the accident was someone else's fault, then, in addition to your medical expenses and lost wages, you are entitled to compensation for pain, suffering, and lost enjoyment of life from the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company. Our attorneys can help you to deal with all of the insurance and financial questions that arise after a serious accident. Please call us for a free consultation.