After a car accident, things can feel confusing and stressful. That’s to be expected. There’s still some things you need to remember as long as you are able to. Many people aren’t even able to move after a car accident, and if you’re severely injured, it’s best to leave the police to sort through the scene and get names and other things. If you’re able to keep your wits about you and don’t feel injured, it’s okay to assess the scene and then exchange information with the other driver.
What information do you need?
Many people are experiencing their first auto accident and simply don’t know what they should do first. If you’re going to be one of those people, it’s a good thing you’ve found this information. Now you’ll know better how to proceed if you’re ever in an accident. While preventing accidents is top priority, most people eventually get into at least a fender bender that needs to be reported for insurance purposes (sometimes). If so, here’s what you’re going to need from the other driver:
– Their name
– Their phone number
– Their home address
Other relevant information to communicate might be email, but if you’re not much of an online person, no worries. Name, phone number, and home address gives you both the information you need to communicate after an accident. Some people will want insurance information as well: This means that you give them YOUR information and they give YOU theirs.
Not making statements
After a car accident, things can be hectic and it’s a natural human instinct to want to communicate with another driver about what just happened. Many people might be angry if the accident wasn’t their fault. It’s important to keep your cool and not make official statements at the scene of the accident to the other driver. And while you want to give the police what they need for their report, it’s not your obligation to give a long, drawn out, official statement about the accident. Answer questions but don’t reveal more information than you need to. This helps your lawyer later on.
And of course it might be instinct to want to talk to the other driver, it’s never a good idea to give more information than you have to give. Make the amount of information you give equal to the amount of information you receive, and never let your emotions get out of control at the scene of the accident, no matter how frustrated and angry you might be. And if you’re the victim of a negligent driver, you’re certainly going to have some out of control emotions. Do your best to contain them and get the info you need to move forward with a claim or even a lawsuit.
Contacting a lawyer
Lawyers are able to make sense of the accident you just suffered through in ways that you just can’t. The law protects innocent drivers from negligent ones, and your lawyer will know how to handle your case in a way that you just won’t. The basics of information at the scene of the accident are there for practical purposes. The other driver needs to tell their insurance about the accident, so knowing your information will help them report the accident more clearly. There are other types of information they simply don’t need, so never volunteer more information than you need to at the scene of the accident, and always, always keep your emotions under control as much as possible.
Your future lawyer will thank you for this etiquette at the scene of the accident. It makes their job much, much easier later on. To sum things up, you should only exchange basic information with the other driver at the scene of the accident, and you are under no obligation to volunteer information, discuss your feelings, or get into a full conversation after the accident.