What to do if you are involved in a car accident
It is unfortunate that most people do not know what to do if they are involved in an accident. My own mother recently had an accident and she called me frantically asking what to do. Knowing what to do is important for protecting your health and protecting your interests with other drivers and insurance companies. This is true even if you are in error.
The most important thing after an accident is your safety. If you, the other driver or one of the passengers is seriously injured, get help. Call 911, the one-stop phone call for police and ambulance. If there are no visible injuries, it is still advisable to make a non-emergency call to the police and request the presence of the police at the scene of the accident. In most cities, including Las Vegas (and surrounding areas), call 311 for non-emergency police services.
In the event of injury and/or property damage, the presence of the police is very important so that a police report can be prepared and later used to obtain the correct compensation from the correct insurance company or companies, even if it is your own insurance company is. The compensation may cover medical treatment, damage to property, loss of wages and/or pain and suffering.
If the police are called, either through an emergency call 911 or a non-emergency call 311, the police will ensure that all relevant information is included in the police report. If there is no apparent injury or material damage, and/or if the police do not come to the scene of the accident, exchange information with the other driver. Get the driver’s name, car and insurance company registration information, and policy number. Pass on your details to the other driver.
Do not make statements other than facts, and only to the police, regarding the accident and how the accident took place. Do not make statements about your state of health; remember that many injuries can be latent injuries that may not manifest immediately. Contact a personal injury lawyer immediately; do not communicate with the other party’s insurance company and do not report your accident to your insurance company until you consult a personal injury attorney. In most cases, the attorney will take responsibility for making such contacts on your behalf, but will tell you if you need to make contacts of any kind. Remember that it is in the best interest of insurance companies to underestimate the injuries and damage caused by an accident so that they pay the least amount of compensation. The lawyer knows how to deal with the insurance companies and you will get 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