What to Do After a Car Accident
An automobile accident can be a very jarring experience that can leave you in a number of different situations. Your vehicle, at least, will be damaged. You could also be hurt. The people who you hit — or who hit you — could be injured. There are various levels of responsibility that you will have to face for this, depending on whose fault the accident was and what all could have been done to prevent that accident from happening. You will want to seek out good legal advice, like car accident lawyer Patrick Toscano, to know how to proceed, to know what rights you have and what steps you should take. The following can help you to start this process.
Don’t Leave the Scene of the Crash and Speak with Police
First, never leave the scene of the crime. Even if you are late for something — a business meeting, a flight, or anything else — you have to stay and talk to the police officers. This is true even for a minor accident. Everything needs to go on record so that the paperwork can be done correctly and so that justice can be served. If you drive away, you will be breaking the law. Just contact the authorities, see if everyone is all right, and then wait for them to arrive.
Next, exchange all of the appropriate insurance information with both the authorities and the driver of the other car. Even if you are sure that they are at fault and will need to pay for everything through their insurance, you are better off to offer up the information and wait for it all to be sorted out later. Giving this information to the police officers who respond is required by law, so you must do this when they arrive. Always cooperate with them as much as possible to keep from being charged with other violations and to speed up the process.
Obtain a Automobile Accident Lawyer
Finally, do not say anything without your lawyer present if the accident ends up coming to a court case. This will most often happen if someone is killed, since this can lead to charges such as manslaughter or reckless endangerment. Never claim that you were guilty or innocent without a lawyer at your side. Even if you are feeling emotional at the scene of the accident, do not say anything regarding guilt. You do not want rash, emotional statements to be brought up as evidence in a trial since they could keep you from winning.