What to Do After Being Involved in an Auto Accident in Rhode Island
Safety first - call 911 immediately
Try to stay calm and call 911 for help. Remember that calling 911 serves two purposes: not only is it a call for an ambulance if anyone is hurt, but it is also to have the police respond to the scene to document the accident and gather facts for legal purposes. Police are trained in the proper procedure to follow. If there is an issue as to who was at fault in the accident, the police will compile that type of information in their report. They may issue citations, take statements from the drivers and witnesses, etc. If you don't call the police, it may be your word against the other driver's. Do not move your vehicle until a police officer advises you that it is ok, unless you need to move it for safety reasons.
Seek medical attention
If there is even a question as to whether you are injured, go to an emergency room. A delay in seeking medical treatment can cause you serious injury, especially with any type of head trauma. You are probably not a doctor, so let a medical professional determine the extent of your injuries.
Limit your statements
When the police arrive on scene and ask you to state what happened, give a brief, factual description of what occurred. Do not make any statements to the agents or representatives of the insurance carrier of the other drivers prior to consulting an experienced injury attorney. Keep a cool head and start collecting evidence:
- Get the name, address, phone number, license plate number and insurance information from the other driver(s).
- If the driver of the other vehicle is not the owner of the vehicle, determine who owns the vehicle and get the insurance information for the vehicle involved (which may be different from the insurance information of the driver).
- Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of everyone who witnessed the accident, including any bystanders. These are all potential witnesses if litigation ever arises and you need a way to contact them.
- If the person who hit you or caused the accident flees the scene, try to get the license plate number, including any the state. Also the make, color and model of the car.
- Take pictures. Photographs are very probative and provide compelling evidence of what happened and can be very helpful if there is a dispute later on. If you have a camera (or a cell phone with a camera), take the pictures yourself, even if the quality is not great, it is better than nothing. Take photos of the damage to all the vehicles, the position of the vehicles after the impact, the accident scene and the area around it, any debris field, skid marks, any noticeable injuries to you or any of your passengers and anything else you think may be important.
Whether in Coventry, Warwick, West Warwick, East Greenich or anywhere else in Rhode Island, the evidence you collect will be of great help to your injury lawyers when it's time to file your auto accident claim.
Contact our Rhode Island auto accident law firm to discuss your case
If you were injured as a result of an auto accident in Coventry, Warwick, West Warwick, East Greenwich or anywhere in Rhode Island, which you believe was caused by someone else’s negligence, you should consult a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Whether you’re looking for a Warwick, RI personal injury attorney, a Coventry, RI personal injury attorney or a personal injury attorney who serves clients anywhere else in Rhode Island, you will find that attorney here at the Pollock Law Office, Inc.
The Pollock Law Office is ready to provide valuable legal advice and make sure you obtain full compensation for all the injuries and damages you have suffered.
Do not wait – the longer you wait to get legal advice, the harder it is to prove your case. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 401-203-7989 or contact our Warwick, Rhode Island office online.