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What Should I do if I’m in a Car Accident?


Ask yourself “What should I do if I’m in a car accident?” before an accident occurs.

It is pretty difficult to think clearly and strategically in the heat of the moment, especially when your adrenalin is going because you have just been in a car accident. That is why you need to ask yourself “what should I do if I’m in a car accident?” in advance and have a plan. That way, you only need to execute on your plan, not create and execute on a plan when you are in the moment.

Ask if everyone is alright.

I always recommend asking if everyone is alright before you take any other action. The law is evolving, so that someone is less likely to get penalized for apologizing immediately after an accident. However, apologizing is still not a good idea.

Additionally, if someone really is hurt, you want to address that as quickly as possible, by calling for an ambulance.

Call for help if there is any question that someone is hurt.

If someone is hurt, encourage that person to get medical attention right away.

Pretty much anything you say at the accident site is going to be admissible. You will just come off much more sympathetic if you are kind and reasonable as opposed to a jerk.

Additionally, if someone is hurt, you really want them to get care for their injuries, right?

Get out of the way and exchange contact information.

Only after you are sure that everyone is alright should you get out of the thoroughfare and exchange contact information. Also, take this opportunity to take photographs of the car, the license plate, and of course, whatever damage occurred. This is also the time to call the insurance company for the person at fault.

Do you need to have the other driver ticketed?

The most prudent course of action is to call the police and have the other driver ticketed. That said, I will admit that I have recently been in a car accident when I did not call the police. The other person rear-ended me at a stop light. Liability was pretty clear. Could I have ended up regretting that decision? Yes, it could have made more work for me, but I felt confident that I could establish liability without her being ticketed if I needed to do so, and I wanted to be nice to the young girl who caused the accident.

You might also want to check out this article from an insurance company about what to do in a car accident, for a different perspective.

Kim Beck

Attorney Kimberly Beck

Cincinnati, Ohio

Attorney Kim Beck is the managing member of Beck Law Center, located in Cincinnati, Ohio.  She has 15 years of experience as an attorney, mostly on the defense.  She now represents plaintiffs in personal injury cases involving a variety of injuries caused by defecting drugs/ pharmaceuticals, medical malpractice, and other series accidents.  If you would like more information about her background and experience, please review her profile page.

Attorney Advertisement.  Beck Law Center provided this post as general information and should not be construed as creating an attorney/client relationship.  It may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction.  It is not intended as a substitute for legal advice.  Further, this correspondence is not protected by privilege.  No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

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