Bang! You have just been struck by another vehicle. You are stunned. You are angry. You are afraid. How do you handle the situation? How do you maintain your cool? The Ciulla Law Firm has a checklist for your use after a motor vehicle accident when you will need it most:
1. Your health and the health of everyone involved is of paramount importance. Ask everyone in your car if they are injured. Ask yourself how you are feeling. Assess the situation. If the other party shows signs of hostility, do not leave your car; otherwise, inquire into the wellbeing of the other party. Then,
2. Call 911. Get the police on the scene of the crash as soon as possible. A police report will be a major factor in establishing fault and extent of damages.
3. Take photographs of the following: Both vehicles (front, back, both sides); License plate of the other vehicle; Vehicle identification number; Scene of the crash (mile markers, street signs); Skid marks; Debris on the street; and
4. Remain calm and polite. Gather witness information if witnesses cannot stay for the arrival of the police. Do not move the vehicles until law enforcement tells you it is okay to do so
5. Exchange license, registration, and insurance information with the other party. Other than inquiring about the other party's well being and exchanging pertinent information, limit your interaction with the other party. Do not say you are sorry because it could be taken as an admission of fault.