It is unfortunate that most people do not know what to do when they are involved in an accident. My mother was in an accident recently and called me frantically asking what to do. Knowing what to do is important for protecting your health and protecting your interests with other drivers and insurance companies. This is true even if you are at fault.
The most important thing after an accident is your safety. If you, the other driver, or any of the passengers are seriously injured, be sure to get help. Call 911, the one-stop call center for police and ambulance.
If no one involved has obvious injuries, it is advisable to make a non-emergency call to the police department and request the presence of the police at the scene of the accident. In most cities, including Las Vegas (and surrounding areas), you can call 311 for non-emergency police dispatch.
In the event of injuries and/or property damage, the presence of the police is very important in order to prepare a police report and use it later to obtain appropriate compensation from the relevant insurance company or companies, even if it is your provider of insurance. Compensation can cover medical treatment, property damage, lost wages and/or pain and suffering.
If the police are called, via an emergency call to 911 or a non-emergency call to 311, the police will ensure that all appropriate information is reported in the police report.
If there are no obvious injuries or property damage and/or if the police do not come to the scene of the accident, then share the information with the other driver. Get the driver’s name, car registration information and insurance carrier and policy number. Give your information to the other driver.
Do not make statements other than the facts and only to the police about the accident and how the accident happened. Do not make any statement about your health condition; remember that many injuries may be latent injuries that may not appear immediately.
Contact a personal injury attorney immediately; do not communicate with the other party’s insurance company or report your accident to your own insurance company before consulting a personal injury attorney. In most cases, the lawyer takes responsibility for making such contacts on your behalf, but will tell you if you need to make any contacts.
Remember that it is in the interest of insurance companies to understate the injuries and damages caused by an accident so that they pay the least amount of compensation.
The attorney knows how to deal with insurance companies and get you the compensation you deserve. The more serious the accident, the more important it is to contact a personal injury attorney.
Ramzy Ladah, Esq.
Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney, PLLC