It's hard to think clearly in an auto accident, thanks to emotions and physical pain. Remember these tips to ensure that the process of wrangling the wreckage goes as smoothly as possible.
1. Call the police. Find out if they will come to the auto accident scene and make a report. If your injuries are significant and you think you need immediate treatment, ask the police to call an ambulance.
2. Take photos of the crash. Get pictures of the involved vehicles' damage as well as the adverse vehicle's license plate.
3. Take photos of any injuries you sustained.
4. Get the name, address, insurance company, phone number and driver's license number of the other driver(s) involved.
5. Get the name, address and phone number of all persons who may have witnessed the accident.
6. Depending on the severity of your injuries, either go to the nearest emergency room immediately after the accident or make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible.
7. Heed the advice of your medical practitioners. Your injuries need to be treated--they won't go away on their own.
8. Contact a personal injury attorney and ask to schedule a free consultation.
9. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Tell the insurance representative what happened generally, but don't allow them to record any of your conversation.
10. If the adverse insurance company contacts you, DO NOT give them any written or recorded statement. DO get the name and phone number of the insurance adjuster as well as their claim number and ask them to only contact you in writing.
These rules also apply if the accident involves a bicycle. For more information on bicycle accidents, click here or read this article from NorCal Cycling News.