If you are involved in a car accident in New Jersey, there are several steps you should take in order to remain safe and to document the incident in case you make a legal claim down the road. This is why, in addition to the checklist discussed here, you should contact a NJ Injury Lawyer experienced with handling motor vehicle accident claims so you can be compensated for your damages. Follow this checklist if you’re involved in a car accident.
✔ Stay Calm.
Remain calm, cool and collected. Do not panic and leave the scene of the accident. Leaving the scene of an accident can result in the issuance of a traffic summons and require you to appear in municipal court. Leaving the scene of an accident if there are personal injuries can result in fines between $2,500 to $5,000, driver’s license suspension, and even jail time – even if you’re not at fault.
✔ Ask if Anyone is Injured.
Take time to see if you are injured. Check on your passengers and see if they are hurt. Call 911 to report the accident and any injuries. Request an ambulance or EMT to be dispatched to the scene if anyone needs emergency medical care.
✔ Seek Medical Treatment.
Do not refuse medical treatment if it is offered to you at the scene. Some injuries do not manifest until hours, days or even weeks after the accident. Many people wait to see if their aches and pains will go away, but often these injuries become worse. If this is the case, you should always seek medical treatment if needed. Make sure you are checked out by a doctor. [Can we link phrase such as “medical treatment” to Motor Vehicle FAQ article?]
✔ Document Your Motor Vehicle Accident.
If you are able, exchange license and insurance information with the other driver and take a picture of the other car’s license plate. When the police officers arrive, make sure you describe all the details about how the accident unfolded. Do not leave out any important details. The officers were not there, so do not assume they will know what happened. If you don’t include something in your version, it won’t be included in the report. Make sure you tell the other officer if the other driver said “sorry” or apologized for the accident. [Can we link to Motor Vehicle FAQ article here also?]
✔ Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company.
Report any property damage to your insurance company. Also, notify your insurance company if you or your passengers suffered any personal injuries. Provide a copy of the accident report and any doctors you treat with to your insurance company, and to your attorney. A NJ Injury Lawyer can assist you with submitting claims to your insurance company for property damage and a PIP application for your medical bills. A NJ car accident lawyer can also advise whether you have a claim for personal injuries against the other vehicle. Never give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. If you receive phone calls or letters from the other insurance company, let your attorney know in order to properly handle your claim.
✘ What NOT to do.
Under no circumstance should you speak or write to the other car’s insurance company. Do not sign anything from the other driver’s insurance company. Do not answer any questions from the other car’s insurance company. Never agree to a settlement from the other insurance company without consulting with an experienced NJ Injury Lawyer. You only have one chance to make a claim and you can never re-open your claim. If you inadvertently sign a settlement from the other insurance company, you might give up your right to fair compensation for your injuries.
✔ IMPORTANT – Did you know?
All 911 calls and calls made to police headquarters are recorded. Everything you say right after the accident when you report it to the police is recorded. Also, the calls the dispatcher makes to police to respond to the accident are recorded. When the police arrive to the scene, all their calls to headquarters regarding the accident are recorded. All these recordings can be requested by the Open Public Records Act (OPRA). An experienced NJ Injury Lawyer can obtain these recordings to document the accident and injuries in real time as they happened immediately after the accident.
✔ Contact MyNJInjuryLawyer.
If you or a loved one is involved in a NJ car accident, you should contact a winning attorney familiar with handling these claims. An experienced NJ Injury Lawyer can help to deal with your insurance company for medical bills and property damage. A skilled NJ Injury Lawyer can also deal with the other driver’s insurance company if you are entitled to compensation for your personal injuries. Please contact NJ Injury Lawyer Howard Lesnik, Esq., immediately if you were involved in a NJ car accident. I personally handle NJ personal injury cases on a regular basis. Please contact me now by email, by phoning 908.264.7701, or by completing the form to the right to schedule your complimentary 30-minute strategy session.