What You Should Do if You Are involved in a Car Accident
It is unfortunate that most people don’t know what to do when they are involved in an accident. My own mother was recently in an accident, and she called me frantically asking what she should do. Knowing what to do is important for protecting your health and protecting your interests with the other drivers and the 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, make sure you summon help. Call 911, the one stop phone call for police and ambulance. If no one involved has any apparent injuries, it is still advisable 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 the surrounding areas), you may dial 311 for non-emergency police dispatch.
In case of injuries and/or property damage, the police presence is very important so that a police report can be prepared and later used in obtaining the appropriate compensation from the appropriate insurance company or companies, even if it’s 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 a 911 emergency call or 311 non-emergency call, the police will insure that all of the appropriate information is reported in the police report. If there is no apparent injury or property damage, and/or if the police do not come to the scene of the accident, then exchange information with the other driver. Obtain the name of the driver, the car registration information and the insurance carrier and policy number. Provide your information to the other driver.
Do not make any statements other than facts, and only to the police, pertaining 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 themselves 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 you consult with a personal injury attorney. In most cases the attorney assumes the responsibility to make such contacts on your behalf, but will tell you if you should make contacts of any kind. Remember that it is in the interest of the insurance companies to understate the injuries and damage cause by an accident, so that they pay the least amount of compensation. The attorney knows how to deal with the insurance companies and get you the compensation you deserve. The more serious the accident, the more important it is that you contact a personal injury attorney.
Ramzy Ladah, Esq.
Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney, PLLC