Car Accidents Happen
Summer is here! For those of us, at the Jersey Shore the up-coming months will be filled with trips to the beach, fun at amusement parks, and enjoying time with family and friends.
Unfortunately, the summer months also entail some frustration with increased traffic. With school out, more young drivers will be on the road along with the many visitors coming to vacation at the shore – car accidents happen. A car accident is one of the most stressful, emotionally-charged events that can happen to any driver. A hundred questions run through your mind: Is everyone ok? Should you call someone? What information do you need?
It’s best to avoid this extra stress by being aware, as well as informing the young drivers in your family, of the most important steps to be taken if involved in a car accident:
Make sure you and all passengers are ok. The most important part is checking on the well-being of all persons involved. First, assess if you incurred any serious injuries before trying to move. If you are able to move, check on all other passengers in the vehicle. If anyone is seriously injured, call 911 and get medical attention immediately. If the vehicle is operable, pull it over into a safe area out of the way of traffic. Otherwise, just stay where you are until help arrives.
Call the police. It’s advised to get an official police report of the incident. You will want this documentation when dealing with insurance companies and any other potential legal matters that may arise. The report will provide important information about the parties involved and other details related to the accident itself. Make sure you have the names and badge numbers of the officers at the scene.
Document and exchange information. Having a police report will help, but you want to make sure you have your own documentation as back-up. Especially in the case of minor fender benders, where police may not get involved, be sure to get the full name, contact information and insurance information of the other driver. Get the names and contact information of all other passengers in the vehicle as well. Take as many pictures as possible; this includes photos of any damage to the vehicles, pertinent street signs any other visual cues that are relevant to the accident.
Call your insurance company. Let your insurance company know as soon as possible if you’ve been involved in an accident and give them as many facts as possible. You want to be the first one to contact them, before the other party or their insurance does, so that you can give them the details from your side and avoid any suspicion.
Consider hiring a legal professional. Sometimes determining what really happened and who is liable is not so clear, or may not be what you think. When speaking to other parties at the scene of the incident, never admit fault. An attorney can help you maximize your claim if you are injured and make all the difference in defending you if you are at fault. An experienced attorney can save you a lot of stress, time and money in the long run.
If you or a loved one were injured in or incurred loss/damage of property due to a car accident and need legal assistance, please contact us to see how we can be of help to you.