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What to do after an accident

After a serious accident, it is hard to know what you should do

No one expects to get in an accident, and so when it happens, the experience is always shocking. Even a minor collision is stressful, and it is difficult to know what to do immediately after an accident, to protect the safety of those involved, and to protect the rights of the victims going forward.

When a crash occurs, people may be injured or in danger, and emotions run high. Try to remain calm, to avoid anger or confrontation with other drivers, and to assess the scene for safety issues.

The following are important things to do after an accident:

  • Check on the condition of all people involved, and get medical attention for anyone with injuries. Do not move an injured or unconscious person until trained medical personnel arrive, unless there is an imminent danger present.
  • Call the police if there is physical injury, death, or significant property damage. Request that a police report be filed, and get the names and badge numbers of the responding officers.
  • Exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved. If they had passengers, or if there were witnesses to the crash, try to get their contact information as well.
  • Let your insurance company know you've been in an accident. Tell them the truth about what happened and the extent of your injuries. Your insurance company is on your side, and your adjuster is there to help you.
  • Take photos of your vehicle damage and your injuries. They can help your insurance adjuster or personal injury lawyer prove the value of your claim.
  • Be cautious of early settlement offers. Don’t settle a claim until you know the full extent of your injuries and required medical treatment, including future surgery. Consult a lawyer before signing any settlement document.

Why should you consider working with a personal injury attorney on your insurance claim?

You should consider finding an experienced injury lawyer who will help you throughout the entire claim process and will protect your rights. A lawyer has the knowledge and resources to oversee all phases of the case, from the initial gathering and organizing of information, to getting statements from witnesses and physicians, to the final negotiation of a full settlement to compensate you for your financial losses. Having an injury attorney on your side allows you to focus on healing and recovery.

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Tallahassee, FL-Thomasville, GA
Accident Date: 
Sat, 10/25/2014
At approximately 12:33am, police responded to 2168 W. Tennessee Street in reference to a traffic crash with injuries. Both vehicles were driving westbound on west Tennessee Street when two vehicles collided. The first vehicle overturned as a result of the crash.

Questions for Car Accident Witnesses

Witnesses to a car accident can be valuable when it's time to piece together the details of what happened right before, during, and after the crash. Statements from witnesses can also become key evidence later on, in any lawsuit or insurance claim that seeks to establish legal responsibility -- in other words, fault for a car accident. So it's important that the right questions get asked of witnesses, in order to make sure the right information is obtained and recorded. This article touches on some important strategies and points to cover when questioning witnesses to a car accident.

Traffic Crash Reports & Overlay Forms

The following table contains hyper-links to state traffic crash report Get Adobe Readerforms and any overlay code sheets applicable to that state. All forms are in Adobe Portable Document File Format (PDF). In order to eliminate the fraudulent use of crash reports, all state report forms cannot be printed or modified. Overlay code sheets can be printed. In cases where states have revised their reporting forms, both old and new formats are provided. ACTAR assumes no liability for the accuracy or use of these documents. They are provided as a service to the traffic crash reconstruction community.

LexisNexis eCrash

As an involved party in an accident, ordering a copy of the report is easy with LexisNexis® eCrash. Eliminate the need to drive to the police department, find parking and stand in line to request a copy of your accident report. Save time and order from a secure website. You can quickly access and download a copy of the report without leaving your home or office.

Police Reports as Evidence in Your Car Accident Injury Case

In some kinds of injury cases -- most notably, car accidents -- a police report may have been prepared in connection with the underlying incident. While police reports are generally inadmissible if your case gets to court, the report can still be very useful in most personal injury cases. In this article, we'll offer some tips on how to use a police report to bolster your side of an injury claim.

Preserve Evidence and Take Photos

If you are involved in an accident or injury that may have been caused by the carelessness of someone else, preserving any physical evidence of the incident and your injuries can help support your position in any legal claim you may decide to pursue. It's important to do this as soon as possible after the incident because circumstances can change quickly: accident scenes can be altered, memories can become unreliable, and evidence can be overlooked or misplaced over time.