As more traffic returns to Washington’s roads and highways after the last few years, the risk of an accident increases, especially during the winter months.
No matter how safely you drive, you may find yourself the victim of a car accident caused by a negligent driver. Feelings of shock, fear and distress are common immediately after the accident, and you might not know what to do. These tips can help.
Always have your car stocked with items that designed to keep you safe after an accident. These could include first aid supplies, water and blankets.
After the accident, pull your vehicle over to the side of the road and turn the engine off. Check yourself for injuries before checking others. If anyone appears injured, do not move them, but call 911 right away.
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver and anyone else involved in the accident. Obtain their license plate number and driver’s license number.
Take pictures of all damage to vehicles and any injuries. These pictures could be used as evidence.
Even if you think you do not have any injuries, see a doctor or go to a hospital as soon as you can. Some injuries are not immediately apparent, and if you are injured, hospital or medical records are also potential evidence.
What not to do
While these are things you should do after a car accident, there are also things you should not do. You should not talk about the accident at all, and especially do not admit fault.
The reason it is best to not say anything is because even innocent sounding statements could be used against you. For example, if you say “I’m sorry” to the other driver, they could use that statement to argue you admitted you caused the accident.
Explore your options
The costs from a car accident can quickly add up. Between medical bills, time missed from work and psychological or mental distress, you could be financially ruined.
A personal injury action can potentially help you recover compensation for these losses. It is important to understand your rights and options.