What should you do if you are involved in a car accident?
It is unfortunate that most people do not know what to do when they are involved in an accident. My own mother had an accident recently, and she called me a lot asking what she should do. Knowing what to do is important to protect your health and protect your interests with other drivers and insurance companies. This is true even if you are at fault.
The most important thing after an accident is your safety. If you, the other driver or any of the passengers are seriously injured, be sure to call for help. Call 911, one phone call for police and ambulance. If no one involved has any apparent injuries, it is always recommended to make a non-emergency call to the police department and request police presence at the scene of the accident. In most cities, including Las Vegas (and surrounding areas), you can call 311 for non-emergency police dispatch.
In case of injury and/or damage to the property, the presence of the police is very important so that a police report can be prepared and later used in obtaining appropriate compensation from the appropriate insurance company or insurance company, even if it is your own insurance provider. Compensation may cover medical treatment, property damage, loss of wages and/or pain and suffering.
If the police are called, through an emergency 911 call or a non-emergency 311 call, the police will ensure that all appropriate information is reported in the police report. If there are no apparent injuries or property damage, and/or if the police do not come to the scene of the accident, then exchange information with the other driver. Get the driver’s name, vehicle registration information and insurance company and policy number. Give your information to the other driver.
Do not make any statements other than facts, and only to the police, related to the accident and how the accident occurred. Do not make any statements about your state of health; remember that many injuries may be latent injuries that may not manifest immediately. Contact a personal injury attorney immediately; do not communicate with the other party’s insurance company or report your accident to your insurance company before consulting with a personal injury attorney. In most cases, the attorney assumes responsibility for making these contacts on your behalf, but will tell you if you should make any kind of contact. Remember that it is in the interest of insurance companies to minimize injuries and damages caused by an accident, so that they pay the least amount of compensation. The lawyer knows how to deal with the insurance companies and get the compensation you deserve. The more serious the injury, the more important it is to contact a personal injury attorney.
Ramzy Ladah, Esq.
Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers, PLLC