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Monday, March 14, 2011

Do You Know What To Do If You Are In A Car Wreck?

In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a car accident, follow these steps to help the situation as much as possible.

First, check yourself and your passengers for injuries then dial 911. The dispatcher will assist you and help you determine whether an ambulance is needed. Listen carefully to the instructions they give you and find a safe place to wait for help. Do your best to keep your composure. Of course, there will be a great deal of stress involved but refrain from engaging in confrontation with others. It's best to wait for the police to arrive before talking about what happened. Also, if you think the other driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, keep this observation to yourself and discuss the matter with the police.

The most important thing you can do is be sure to gather the following information from the other driver(s):
1. Name
2. Address
3. License Plate Number
4. Driver's License Number
5. Phone Number (Other Contact Information such as Email)
6. Insurance Company and any policy numbers

If you are able to do so, use the camera on your cell phone to take pictures of the scene, the position of the cars, the other vehicle's tag and any other important aspects of the wreck. It would be a good idea to write down the facts surrounding the accident, as you remember them, while they are fresh on your mind. You could use you cell phone to do this as well, send an email or text message from your phone to yourself or someone you trust (spouse, parent, a friend or lawyer).

Check to see if there are any witnesses to the accident and if there are, get their contact information. As you begin to speak to the police, answer their question truthfully but do not admit fault. Also, be sure to get the police officer's name and badge number. Request a copy of any report that the police prepare or any associated case number that is assigned.

Once you have returned home, be sure to contact your insurance company to report a claim. It is also necessary, at this time, to see a doctor. Often times, it is difficult to determine whether your injuries are normal bumps, bruises and stiffness from the the wreck or an injury that is more serious and will only get worse. It's best to go see your doctor and let them know all of the pains and discomforts you are experiencing.

Don't forget to contact your attorney. The insurance company will be contacting you and may try to pressure you to sign documents that may restrict your rights. An experienced Mississippi Attorney can guide you through the process and make sure you are compensated sufficiently.