Your actions after an accident can dramatically affect the strength of your compensation claim
According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, New Jersey roads see more than 230,000 traffic accidents every year. No matter how safe of a driver you are, this statistic could include you someday. Knowing in advance what to do in the aftermath of an accident can make a big difference in your chances of victory as well as the amount of your eventual compensation. At Lomurro Law, our skilled New Jersey accident attorneys fight for every penny of compensation you are entitled to.
What to do at the scene of a car accident
- Get your vehicle out of the road to prevent a further accident, but do not leave the scene of the accident (unless the accident was caused by road rage and the perpetrator is still trying to hurt you). Leaving the scene of an accident is against the law in New Jersey.
- Shift into park, turn off the ignition and turn on your hazard lights to avoid a second accident.
- Call 911 unless an ambulance or the police are already on their way. You are required to notify the police even if there are no injuries.
- Provide any immediate assistance necessary, but be careful about moving an injured person and don’t provide any assistance that isn’t necessary. Wait for the ambulance if you can, without letting someone die or allowing a dangerous traffic situation to persist.
- Take photos of the scene of the accident as well as all vehicles and damage.
- Exchange information with other people involved in the accident, including witnesses. New Jersey auto accident law forbids you from refusing to give your contact information to other people involved in the accident. To the extent possible, gather the following information:
- Names and contact information of drivers, passengers and eyewitnesses
- Make, model, year and license plate numbers of other vehicles involved in the accident
- Driver’s license numbers, insurance companies and policy numbers for other drivers
- Location and/or address of the accident
- Police officer’s name and badge number.
What not to do: pitfalls for the unwary
Avoid taking any of the following actions either at the scene of the accident or later:
- Apologize for the accident, for obvious reasons. The aftermath of a car accident is no time to be polite.
- Sign any documents or talk to an insurance company until you have spoken to your lawyer.
- Post about your accident on any social networking account.
What to do during the next few days
Be sure to take the following actions within the first few days after the accident.
- Seek medical attention, even if you don’t think you are injured. If a late-breaking injury arises (whiplash, for example), it is important that you be able to prove that it did not occur after the accident.
- Report the accident to the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission if no police report is filed for some reason (if no police officer arrives, for example).. New Jersey state law requires you to report an accident if there are injuries or deaths, or if there is damage that exceeds $500.
- Obtain a copy of the police report from the local police department. This is where the officer’s name and badge number is likely to come in handy.
- Contact one of our New Jersey car accident lawyers.
- Resist the temptation to talk to an insurance company (yours or anyone else’s) until after you have cleared it with your lawyer.
Contact the attorneys at Lomurro Law if you have been involved in an automobile accident resulting in injury in New Jersey
Auto insurance companies are notorious for denying valid accident claims or reaching into their bag of tricks to smooth-talk you into accepting a meager settlement. At Lomurro Law, our New Jersey auto accident attorneys know all the tricks. We have offices conveniently located in Freehold and East Brunswick, or, we can come to see you at your home or even in the hospital. Call us today at 732-482-9285 or fill out our online contact form to set up a free case consultation with us.