Car, Motorcycle, Tractor-Trailer Crash
There has been a car crash. What are the first things that you need to do to protect yourself?
Without resorting to showing you pictures of horrific accidents, the law office of Michael A. O’Hara wants to help you with a realistic scenario.
Depending on the severity of the crash or your injuries, you may be able to accomplish several things at the scene. As long as it is safe to do so, and you are able, you may want to:
1. Take pictures of the vehicle that hit you, your car, and the surrounding area, including any tire/skid marks.
2. Write down the license plate(s) of the car(s) involved. Write down the names of the drivers and their passengers. Write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses.
3. Write down anything that seems out of the ordinary. For example, did you notice that the other driver seemed to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs? Did he/she stumble multiple times? Were their words mumbled? Did you see any bottles of alcohol or prescriptions?
While the police are on the scene:
Most police officers will have a business card with their name and contact
information on it. If they give you an
“Incident” number or “Report” number, ask them to write it down on the back of
the card and keep it with you. The
police will ask you to provide them with your driver’s license, your insurance
card and perhaps the registration papers for your car. They may ask you other questions, including, were you driving; or who was driving your vehicle. You do not need to provide any information to the police. And any information you do provide may be used against you. When in any doubt, consult legal counsel.
If you receive emergency medical treatment:
The period after a crash can be a confusing time with paramedics, and then nurses and doctors asking lots of questions, notifying loved ones of your location and your concern for your passenger’s injuries. Remember:
1. The doctor will look for signs of injuries: broken bones, cuts on your skin, and will review your vital signs. Do not assume the doctor will know your chest hurts if you tell him your airbag went off during the crash. If you have symptoms, like your chest hurts, tell the doctor your chest hurts.
2. Do not dismiss your injuries because you are concerned with your passenger’s injuries. There is more than one doctor at the hospital and your passenger is being taken care of. Tell the doctor of all of your injuries.
After you return home:
At this point, you might have written notes or taken pictures of the crash scene; have probably been handed a business card from the police; have been given discharge instructions from the emergency room and you now start to wonder what is next. Then the phone rings and it’s the other driver’s insurance company asking you for a statement. What do you do?
1. Ask for their name, phone number, and their claim number. Let them know that you will talk with an attorney before making any statements to them. Some adjustors may try to pressure you into just giving a “short” statement, or to just “answer a few questions”. You should let them know you are not ready to answer any questions before speaking with an attorney.
2. Call my office,
(859) 746-0500 to set up a meeting with me.
My assistant will ask what would be a convenient time for you. Please bring all of the paperwork you have
collected to this first meeting. My
office can handle everything from there.
And you can concentrate of recovering from your injuries.