Car accidents are common, but many people do not know that they should properly report them. The most important thing to do in a car accident is to respond to any injuries first. You should call an ambulance, or at least seek medical treatment at an emergency room, if you are in any pain. However, injuries aside, another important first step you need to take following a car accident is to report the incident to the police. In Rhode Island, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident without calling authorities. It is for the benefit of both parties to make sure a police report is properly and timely filed.
How Do You Report A Car Accident?
You should follow these simple steps after you have been in a car accident:
- Call the police immediately. You may still be startled or disoriented from the accident, but as soon as you have sought the necessary medical attention, you need to report the incident. Even if the accident was a minor one, such as a fender bender, the police report helps serves as a basis for insurance companies to determine responsibility and resolve future disputes.
- Tell the truth, but never admit fault. There are cases where you will feel scared or even unsure of what happened, which is why it may appear to you that you are at fault even when you are not. But, it is important that you do not mistakenly admit fault on the accident report that insurance companies will use later. Even normal phrases like “I’m sorry” may be interpreted as admitting fault.
- Provide important information such as the time of crash, precise location, personal details of both drivers, details of the vehicles, description of the injuries, condition of the road at the time of the accident, how the crash occurred, and images of the incident. Do not sign a document unless it is the crash report.
- Be polite in addressing the police. The officer or officers that respond to the crash will be doing their best to determine who was at fault for the accident. The last thing that you want to do is accidentally prejudice them against you by being impolite.
- Document the situation in case an officer is not available. Find witnesses, and gather evidence. You need to make sure that you can provide the authorities with a detailed report. You may even record your voice narrating the events as you remember them.
Have You Been Injured In an Auto Accident?
If you have been injured in a car accident and you are not sure of what procedures to follow or how to deal with the insurance claims, the Providence car accident lawyers at d’Oliveira & Associates want you to know that you may be entitled to compensation. Our firm has years of experience when it comes to car accident cases and we do not charge a legal fee unless we win your case and you get a settlement or award. Contact us toll free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.