At the Accident Scene
Always have the police called to the scene to investigate the accident!

It never ceases to amaze me how many times accident victims are "talked out" of calling the police by the at fault driver using lame excuses like, "Here's my home and work numbers, call me when you get your repair estimate and I'll write you a check, no problem"-or- "You said you weren't injured" -or- "My husband will kill me if I get a ticket" -or- "I've got good insurance!"

Let me just give you my insurance information, and they will square you away only to find out later that:
1. The other party will not pay for the property damage like he promised.

2. The next day you hurt all over.

3. The other party had his insurance policy canceled or the insurance company denies liability based upon what the other party has told them about the accident.
Leave your vehicle where the accident took place until the police tell you to move it. People can be very creative when explaining to the investigating officer why the accident was your fault not their fault, even though the front of their car is smashed in, as well as the back of your vehicle. Moving your vehicle is moving physical evidence. This may affect the officer's opinion about how the accident happened and who is at fault! If your physical condition permits, get out of your vehicle and wait for the police on the side to the road.

Don't add insult to injury. Or maybe I should say, "Get out of harm's way." If the weather, roadway or lighting conditions contributed to the other guy to hitting you, then these same conditions may contribute to another guy running into both vehicles, injuring you further and complicating the liability issues.
Be cautious with conversations with the person at fault, witnesses, emergency medical personnel, and the police. After an accident, the person who causes it tends to be the one who will check on you first, ask if you are okay, and apologize or say that it was his fault. It's human nature for a person who causes an accident to do this. However, when he asks you, "Are you okay?" instead of politely saying, "Yea," tell him how you feel: "I'm dizzy." "My neck hurts." "I've got a headache." Same thing goes for the officer, witnesses and emergency medical personnel. Tell them how you feel!

Apologies also help the officer determine legal responsibility for the accident or point up the need for more investigation. The, "I'm sorry, I just turned on the radio and I didn't see you stop" is a perfect example. If the officer has an admission from one of the participants he may be able to easily come to his conclusion about the cause of the accident. However human nature being what it is, the other may "change his story" and say you "stopped short," after contemplating the financial repercussions of his actions during the time it takes for the police to get to the scene.

Tell the officer about your conversation with the other guy and the apology he made. When the officer hears this scenario from you, he may see the need to do a more thorough investigation!

For specific information on what to do after an Automobile Accident, go to the main Accident & Injury Page and click on At the Accident Scene You Should Do This, After the Accident Seek Prompt Medical Attention, After the Accident Call Us Immediately, and After the Accident We will Protect you.

Contact us for additional information before it is too late.
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