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Auto Accidents: What to do if you are in an accident

Tennessee Injury and Wrongful Death Lawyers
Immediately after the accident

If you are involved in an automobile accident, stop. It is advised to not to leave the scene of an accident, even a minor one, without first stopping to see whether there are damages or injuries. A person may be criminally prosecuted for leaving the scene of a car accident.

Next, look for injuries, and call the police. Call an ambulance, if you need to. If you are unable to call, ask somebody else to call the police to report the accident and tell the police the number of people who are hurt, so that enough emergency personnel respond to the scene.

If possible, notify other drivers to proceed with caution by setting out flares, turning on your hazard lights, or raising the hood or trunk of your vehicle.

You and the other party should exchange information, including the other driver’s name, address, phone number, drivers license number, license plate number, insurance carrier, policy number, and agent’s name and telephone number. You should also give the same information to the other driver.

Obtain identifying information from any witnesses to the collision, and ask the police officer who investigates the scene to provide you with a business card and the “incident number,” so that you can request an accident report.

You should also take pictures and notes about where and how the accident happened, road conditions, speed limits, traffic control devices, weather, lighting, and what the cars were doing at the time of the accident and the damage to the same.

Even if you think you are responsible, do not say so. The other driver may share the responsibility or other factors may have led to the accident. An admission of fault may be used against you later at another time.

When the police arrive

Cooperate fully with the police when they arrive, and stay at the accident scene until the police notify you that you can leave. When you talk to the police, tell them only the facts of what occurred, and do not draw any conclusions. Do not admit responsibility for the collision to the other drivers, passengers, witnesses or the police. Responsibility or liability is a legal matter that is not always easy to determine. Tell the police of any injuries and witnesses.

Soon after the accident

Photograph your injuries and the damages to your vehicle. Gather all automobile insurance policies in your household for review by an attorney, and inform your insurance company of the collision. Obtain legal advice before filling out insurance papers, giving recorded statements to any insurance company, or meeting with any insurance company representative. It is especially important to talk to an attorney before giving a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Do not sign any check or document from any insurance company without first consulting a skilled personal injury attorney. Contact our firm as soon as possible.

Consult a doctor as soon as possible. You may experience a time lapse between the accident and full awareness of the extent of your injuries. Certain damages may not be apparent until sometime after an accident. By not seeing a physician, you risk delaying your treatment and aggravating your injury. Even minor soreness can be an indication of a more serious injury. Therefore, if you believe there is any chance you may have been hurt, you should see a doctor right away. An insurance company may argue that the failure of a person to see a doctor right away indicates that an injury must have resulted from an unrelated event after the collision. The longer you wait to seek medical treatment, the harder it will be to connect the injuries to the accident. Be sure to notify a physician of any memory loss, headaches, blood or fluid in your ear, dizziness, ringing in your ears, disorientation, nausea, or confusion.

Later

Within a few days of the collision, record all important information, license numbers, and the year, make and color of all vehicles involved, and the details of the accident, including date, time, location, road conditions, traffic controls, and weather conditions. If you have not yet been in touch with an attorney, you should talk to a lawyer that has the experience, dedication and skill to maximize your compensation and minimize the frustration, delay and confusion that you may experience when you make an injury claim.

Note all of your losses, including medical bills, reasonable transportation costs having to do with the injuries, future medical treatment, lost wages, future loss of earnings, the effect on your family, and the effect on your life. An experienced attorney can help you identify all damages that may be connected to your accident. Call our firm right away.

If you have been hurt in an auto accident, contact our attorneys today. We offer free initial consultations and work on a contingent fee basis, which means that there is never a fee unless we successfully settle your case.

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