After a NJ car accident, you may have difficulty focusing and knowing what to do. Your mind may be racing and filled with questions. You may be in pain. However, what you say and do at the scene of your car accident can make a big difference in your case. You should reach out to a NJ injury attorney for legal assistance as soon as possible.
You can best serve your own interests by following these tips after a car accident:
- Stay calm: Panic, angry behavior and shouting only make the situation worse.
- Get medical help: If you are injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Remember, some injuries may not manifest for many months, so it is important to see a doctor regardless.
- Contact the police and file an accident report: Even if you think it is a minor accident, make sure an official accident report is filed. Stay at the scene until the police come and make a report. Find out where and when you can get a copy.
- Do not discuss the car accident with anyone but the police: What you say can be used against you later. It is vital that you do not admit any fault or liability.
- Collect information: You should get names, addresses and phone numbers of those who are involved in the accident, as well as the contact information for any witnesses. Your cell phone can come in handy for taking pictures of accident damage and for recording information such as date, time, location and weather conditions. Be sure to get a description of the other party’s car including make, model number, color and license plate number. You need the name of the insurance company of the other driver and the vehicle identification number (VIN) of his or her car. Enlist the help of the police to get this information for you.
- Call your insurance company: If you carry personal injury protection (PIP), described in the insurance requirements provided by the State of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, you may need to turn first to your own insurer, regardless of fault. Ask if there is a deadline for filing a claim.
- Call a New Jersey injury attorney: If you are injured or the damages are significant, an experienced injury lawyer can immediately begin protecting your rights.
Before filing an insurance claim, seek advice from a knowledgeable NJ auto accident injury lawyer. For a consultation or our legal help, contact Shebell & Shebell.