This blog post will be the first in a series of what to do if you have been in a motor vehicle accident.
Perhaps the most frequent question I receive about car accidents is what to do when one happens. Obviously, the most important thing is your health and wellbeing. If you have been seriously injured, do not move, do not get out of your car, and wait for emergency services to arrive. If you are banged up but don't feel too bad, you still need to be careful. Oftentimes, your body produces so much adrenaline after an accident that you may be more injured than you know but can't yet feel it. In our macho culture, many people also get hurt in car accidents but refuse medical treatment because they don't want to be a bother or want to seem tough. Client's say this time and time again. If you are hurt, or might be hurt, make sure you let them emergency medical technicians give you a thorough examination. If the EMT tells you that you need to go to the hospital in an ambulance, listen to them. That is what they are trained to do.
If you have been checked out and do not need to go to the hospital, you should get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the car accident. You may assume that the police officer writing the report will do so and in many cases you will be wrong. The nice gentlemen that brought you water and lives in the red house three houses down from where your accident occurred may not live there by the time your case is being litigated. The occupants in the car that caused your accident may also have a different story and blame you. That's why it is always important to obtain the contact information from anyone that witnessed the events.