You Just Got In An Auto Accident . . . Now What?
“My car and I are fine. Let’s not worry about dealing with insurance.” Is something someone might say to you one day if you are in a car accident. It typically means one thing: the other driver does not have car insurance. When you are in an accident, your immediate concern is yourself, assessing injuries, property damage, and checking on your passengers. Then come the concerns about the other people involved in the accident. You might be scared, worried about finances, or have a host of other things going through your mind. Thinking about what to do in the event of a car accident now can help preserve your legal claims later, and these tips will help ensure you protect yourself in an accident.
Tips for Post-Accident Behavior
Everyone thinks they know how they will deal with being in a catastrophic situation, but emotions run high at these adrenaline-producing times in our life. One of the best things you can do is to prepare a checklist of things to consider after an accident and keep it in your glove compartment. This way, no matter how hectic things are, you have a prepared document that you can reference to make sure you do not miss any critical steps in the heat of the moment. This includes making sure you have your updated registration and insurance cards in your vehicle at all times. You should also consider the following:
- Write down the other driver(s) license plate number, make, model, and color of the vehicle immediately in case the driver attempts to flee or later gives you false information
- Ask immediately for insurance verification, even if you do not think there is any damage to your car or injury to yourself
- Get the contact information of the people involved in the accident, including any witnesses if they stopped to help
- Never make any admissions of liability. This includes statements about being on the phone while driving, being distracted, or admitting that you caused the accident
- Use flares if necessary to protect yourself and others from oncoming traffic
- Call the police—obviously not all fender benders will require this, but severe accidents may warrant a police report
After the accident, be sure to notify your insurance carrier about the accident immediately. If you did not call the police, they may ask you to file a police report or make a statement. Remember, you will always want to think twice before talking to the other driver’s insurance companies or making any admissions of guilt. In Massachusetts, even if you are found partially liable, you may still recover damages in auto accident litigation cases, but note that your recovery will be reduced.
Boston Auto Accident Litigation Attorneys
John J. Sheehan is an experienced auto accident attorney serving clients in the greater Boston region. His extensive knowledge of complex auto accident litigation can help ensure that you receive the greatest amount of compensation possible. When you file a lawsuit, there is a lot of information that you might need to help you prove your case—following the tips above can ensure that information is preserved, witnesses are identified, and that we know which individuals to bring a lawsuit against. If you think you may have a viable legal claim, contact our Boston office to explore your legal options today.