What to Do After a Vehicle Accident

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Written By Charlotte Miller

When you are involved in an automobile accident, you are often too upset, maybe even injured, to think rationally. However, it is important to understand the steps you should take to protect yourself, including contacting a car accident attorney in Michigan.

Identify injuries

First, check for any injuries you or others may have suffered. If there are injuries, call for medical assistance. Do not leave the scene of the accident, regardless of how big or small it is.

Find a safe place

If the accident is serious or someone was injured, do not move your vehicle. But if the accident was minor and there are no injuries, you can move your vehicle to a safe place on the side of the road away from traffic. Be careful when exiting the vehicle after an accident, particularly if the incident occurred on a busy interstate.

Call the police

You should contact police about the incident. If it is minor, they may tell you to file a written report. They will respond to more serious incidents. If they do, get the officer’s name, contact information and badge number. Ask when you can obtain the accident report.

Collect contact information

Obtain contact information for everyone involved in the accident and witnesses. Take photos with your phone of important information, such as a driver’s license and insurance card. Make sure to obtain the name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, vehicle information, registration, and insurance information from everyone involved in the accident.

Document the accident

Take photos and videos with your phone to document the accident, and you can record conversations with police, witnesses, and others involved in the accident. Document any physical damage around the accident scene and skid marks. Dictate your thoughts at the scene, including memories of the accident, what was happening before it, and anything else while it’s fresh in your mind.

Don’t discuss responsibility

Never respond to claims of responsibility for the accident. Do not answer questions about responsibility or fault, including from police officers who respond. If the other drivers make statements about responsibility, ensure that you document their statements to determine if you can contradict them. For example, if they claim the road was slick, take a photo to show if the roads are dry or wet.

Report the accident to your insurance company

Report the accident to your insurance company, regardless of how serious it was. Your insurance company can handle any claims made about the accident. Even if the incident is minor without obvious damage or injuries, other drivers may claim injury and your insurance company will become involved.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

Call a personal injury attorney to discuss your case, including what you should and shouldn’t say, how to respond to insurance companies, and other issues. An experienced personal injury attorney can explain your rights and how to protect them. They can also negotiate with lawyers, insurance companies, and other parties involved.