If you were in a car accident in Mercer County, New Jersey, you should take several steps immediately after the crash and in the days and weeks to come. For instance, it’s crucial to get necessary medical care, report the crash, and hang onto any relevant evidence for your case.
The steps you take in the aftermath of your accident are crucial not only for your health but also for any injury case you bring against a liable driver. Consider the following tips for how to act after an accident.
Report the car accident to New Jersey police
Contact the local police after a crash. An officer will then meet you at the scene to make a report of the accident. They may make note of essential details such as:
- The drivers and vehicles involved
- Statements from drivers
- An accident diagram
- Citations, if issued
Reporting the accident is not only important for your records, but it is required by state law. New Jersey state law dictates when an accident report is required, such as when accidents result in bodily injury, fatal injury, or more than $500 in property damage.
However, it is always best to err on the side of caution and make a report. Injuries could later surface that were not apparent before, and property damage could prove more extensive than you initially realize. Having the crash report will cover you for any insurance claims later on.
Collect contact information at the scene, if possible
The aftermath of a crash can be chaotic and painful if you suffer significant injuries. However, if you’re well enough to do so, gather contact information from:
- The other driver or drivers involved in the crash
- Witnesses to the accident scene
This information can prove crucial later. For instance, eyewitness statements may offer important evidence demonstrating the other driver’s liability. A car accident lawyer in Mercer County can help you contact these witnesses and build evidence for your case.
Get medical attention for your injuries
Getting medical attention is one of the most important actions you can take after an accident, especially if you notice symptoms of injuries. Even if you don’t notice immediate symptoms, you could start to feel pain in the hours or days after the crash.
It is imperative to seek medical care so that you can get started with necessary treatment, prevent painful health complications, and have evidence for your case. Documenting your injuries can:
- Prove that your symptoms were a direct result of the accident
- Give evidence that your injuries prevented you from working
- Show your prognosis and recommendations for future treatment
Each of these factors is important to document for any insurance claim or lawsuit purposes. If you bring an injury case later on, you (or your car accident lawyer) can show how the accident impacted your health and your life.
Gather an evidence file for your Mercer County case
Hang onto any important details that could be relevant to your case. These include:
- Witness contact information. Eyewitnesses can be contacted later on to build evidence for your case.
- A copy of the accident report. According to information from the State of New Jersey, it can take 10-15 days for the report to be available online.
- Receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses. These could include transportation costs, medical device costs, and more.
All of this information could be useful if you need to seek compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other damages.
Be careful about what you say
What you say to police officers, insurance adjusters, and other parties after the accident can also make a difference for your case. Keep these tips in mind when speaking about the crash:
- Be objective. Stick to the facts. Explain what happened from a neutral perspective.
- Avoid discussing fault. In the moments after the crash, you may feel obligated to admit fault if you feel you contributed to the accident. However, you are under no such obligation. Additionally, you may be less responsible for the crash than you realize.
- Avoid making a recorded statement. An insurance adjuster may contact you and request that you make a recorded statement. This is not necessarily for your benefit, as your words could be taken out of context to lower your settlement amount. Decline to make a recorded statement.
- Don’t discuss the crash on social media. The more you speak about the crash and your injuries online, the more opportunity you give an insurance company to discover your statements—and potentially use them to harm your case.
If you hire a lawyer to handle your accident case, they can manage important communications for you. This is one of the most helpful aspects of working with a lawyer. That way, you don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing. A car accident lawyer can handle the crucial conversations for you.
Get a free case review from Cordisco & Saile LLC
After a crash in Trenton, Hamilton Township, Princeton, or another location in Mercer County, you can get answers to all of your questions by getting a free case review from our team.
We can tell you more about what to do if you were in a car accident in Mercer County, New Jersey. We can also explain your legal options and how our team can help. Call Cordisco & Saile LLC today for your free case review: (215) 642-2335.