If you’re injured due to an auto accident, contact the police, by calling 911 immediately. Police officers tend to believe that the person who is willing to immediately call the police department to report the accident has nothing to hide. This is an opportunity establish trust with the officer who will investigate the accident in an attempt to determine who was at fault.
While waiting for the police, take photographs of your car and the other vehicle or vehicles involved in the accident. If you notice skid marks on the roadway or tire marks on the shoulder, take photos of those, too. Avoid any arguments with the other drivers and be respectful when taking photos of their vehicles.
When the police arrive be prepared, be respectful and be careful. First, have your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance ready to hand to the officer upon request. He will ask both parties to tell him how the accident happened. If he asks another driver first, be patient and don’t interrupt or aggressively try to speak first. When he does begin asking you questions, answer clearly and calmly. If you are sure the other party caused the accident, tell him that, giving your reasons (illegal left turn, ran a stop sign, etc.). If you are unsure whether you had any part in causing the accident, do not guess. Legal fault is determined in court, not by police officers, insurance companies or the other driver. If you are issued a citation, remain calm and respectful, but do not discuss the situation further and if you are asked a question and are unsure of the answer, state that you are unsure. Do not be swayed by anyone at the scene – not police, bystanders, passengers or others involved – give no recorded statements to anyone.
If you are asked whether you are injured, state each and every symptom, pain and injury you have, no matter how small. In the vast majority of accidents, pain either increases or begins after the adrenaline from the accident has left your system. So, just because you aren’t feeling any pain or don’t see any injuries, doesn’t mean you have not been injured. In that situation, if the police officer asks if you are injured, tell him you are not really sure but will be seeing your family doctor. If you are very injured and need an ambulance, call one. However, if you do not, keep in mind that ambulance company bills are typically enormous and leaving the scene in one will not prove your injuries. Once the police officer has completed his questioning and tells you to go, make sure to retrieve all your documents including information about how to get the police report.
Once you are a good distance away from the scene of the accident, are in a safe place and are no longer driving, call GILDER LAW immediately.
Even if it is after 5:00 pm, please call our office at 337 706-7118 anyway. All calls are monitored twenty four hours a day. Leave a clear message with your name, contact number and the fact that you were involved in an auto accident. You will be called by our office, most likely by attorney Tara Gilder, herself, either that evening or in the morning.