Here are some things that you can do to protect your interests if you get into an accident:
Call the Cops right away
A big part of what police officers do is react to car accidents and document what has happened. It is their job, so call them immediately. And, in case you were wondering, no matter how small an accident might seem, it is best to call the cops. Don’t let the other party tell you that it’s not needed! If they want to, it might mean they have some situation that they don’t want revealed –like an expired license or an intoxication issue.
Collect data immediately
If you’re so inclined, find out names of the others involved are in the accident and any witness names. You never know, it might take time before a cop arrives and important people may leave before the police come by. Find out who was involved and anyone’s names that saw the accident happen. Also take down the accident’s location, and license plate numbers!
Start taking photos. You don’t even have to get out of the car when you do this. Just snap photos with your cell phone from your seat. And, if you are comfortable with doing so, and it is safe, exit your car and continue taking pictures. When you have pictures, you have documented the accident’s reality. This way, when the cars are moved, you will have this evidence to protect yourself.
This will probably seem unnecessary but try to record conversations you have with those at the scene, and this includes the responding cop. It’s 100% legal, and it may often be helpful later if statements on the police report are inaccurate or if the other driver’s insurance disputes the report. Most cell phones today have the capability to record conversations. Ask the team at this Baltimore, MD Mazda car dealership for instructions on how to do this!
We hope you will be lucky and never get into a car accident, but if you are, knowing what to do may save you a lot of time and trouble –particularly when dealing with the police. Police officers are busy professionals and the accurate collection of accident evidence and data may be hard, especially if the scene is chaotic.
In summary, nobody wants to go head into action at a car accident scene but if it involves you, and friends and/or family, protecting your interests could save you tons of time and trouble. As we touched on in this article, think about recording as much of it as you can just in case you would want to present the information to interested parties at a later time.
There are millions of accidents in this country every year. Again, we hope that you will never be in one but it could still happen and it never hurts to know what to do if/when it happens during your hours on the road!