You should know, however, that personal injury litigation can take months or years to settle or go to trial. Accordingly, it is important that there is a good attorney-client relationship, which is founded on communication and trust.
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What you should do at the scene of the accident:
1. Safety First
If the accident is minor and you are obstructing traffic move your car to the side of the road, or another safe spot, such as a parking lot. If the accident is not minor, or your car is inoperable, make sure you and all your occupants are safe. If you can, activate your hazard lights and place cones or reflectors in the roadway.
2. Call the Police. It is very important to call the police. All accidents should be reported. If the other party tells you “not to worry, we can handle this without the police,” do not accept that statement. If the police do not arrive, make sure you go the local Precinct and file your own report. The police report often helps the insurance company in processing your claim. Police involvement is necessary!
3. Exchange Information. Once an accident occurs you should always exchange your name, address, telephone number, insurance information, driver’s license information and make, model and license plate information for your vehicle and all vehicles involved in the accident. If the owner and operator of the vehicle are different, remember to find out the relationship of the parties. Remember, be polite, but don’t tell the other drivers or the police that the accident was your fault, even if you believe so.
4. Photograph and Document the accident: Use your camera or cell phone to document the damages to all the vehicles, the accident scene and the location of the vehicles at the time of impact. Keep in mind that you want your photos to show the overall context of the accident. Also, it is important to look for witnesses. If there are witnesses, try to get all of their contact information – not just a cell phone number since numbers can change! Witnesses are important since they can support your version of the accident.
5. Insurance: Notify your insurance company.
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