If a person is involved in a car accident, he or she may not know what to do before leaving the scene of the accident. However, the actions taken at the accident scene can help ensure that a personal injury claim is properly supported. Here are a few things that a car accident victim should do while still at the accident scene:
Be quiet around an adjuster.
An accident victim does not need to speak at length to an insurance representative of the party at fault. The adjuster can take statements made at the scene of an accident out of context and use them against the accident victim to help disprove a claim. For instance, if the adjuster asks the accident victim how the victim is feeling and the person responds that he or she is alright, this can be used to indicate that the person was not seriously injured at the time of the accident.
If an adjuster asks to speak with an accident victim, it is best for the victim to simply reply that the adjuster needs to speak with the victim's attorney.
Obtain contact information from witnesses at the scene.
When a car accident occurs, there are likely people who witnessed it. Before witnesses leave the scene of an accident, it is best to obtain their name, phone number and any other available contact information. These witnesses will be able to provide an account of what occurred during the incident. This can be helpful in instances in which the fault has not been properly assigned. In addition, it can help refute untrue claims by the person who caused the accident.
Take pictures of the vehicles and the accident scene.
Since most accident victims carry a cell phone nowadays, it can be easy to take pictures of the scene of an accident as long as the victim is physically able. These pictures can show the placement of the vehicles immediately after the crash. In addition, the pictures can display important evidence, such as tire marks on the road or damaged street signs. Pictures can also display the damage that was present on the vehicles immediately after the accident, so that there can be no accusations that damages were not accident-related.
Call the police.
Calling the police is one of the most important things that an accident victim can do before leaving the scene. The officer is able to provide a detailed report of what occurred, and this report is likely to be viewed as the most important unbiased record of the event.
If you have recently been injured in an automobile accident that was due to someone else's actions, contact an auto accident attorney in your area.