by Long Island Attorney Paul A. Lauto, Esq.
It is common knowledge that inclement weather can result in poor road conditions, which require extra caution while driving. However, sometimes no matter how careful you drive, you may still be involved in a car accident. If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to know what to do when that accident occurs.
1. DO NOT PANIC: First and foremost is to try and remain calm and make sure that no one has been gravely injured. If you or anyone else has been gravely injured, seek medical attention immediately.
2. CALL THE POLICE: Even if the accident appears initially to be minor in nature, it is always wise (when feasible) to call the police so that they may complete an investigation and report as to what happened. People are not always truthful when thereafter reporting an accident to their insurance company, thereby making the police report the most reliable and objective account as to the happening of the accident.
3. OBTAIN RLEVANT INFORMATION: In the heat of the moment it is sometimes difficult to remember what information to obtain. If you forget, just think of what a police officer always asks for when pulling a driver over. That is, your license, registration and insurance identification card. In a polite and respectful manner, ask the driver of the other car to furnish these three items.
When observing the person's license, copy down his/her name, address, date of birth, license expiration date, license identification number, description and State issuing the license. See that the picture on the license looks like the person and is in fact their license.
When observing the registration, copy down the license plate number, make of the car, year of the car, vehicle identification number, expiration date and name and address of the registered owner. If the name is different than that on the license, inquire as to who the actual owner is and what their relationship is to the driver, if any.
When observing the insurance identification card, copy down the name of the insurance company for the car, the policy number and the effective term for the insurance. Make sure that the information provided on the insurance card is in fact for the car you were in the accident with and take photographs of all property damge, if possible.
In short, copy down all information that you feel is important or may possibly be important from the license, registration and insurance identification card, as well as the other person's current telephone number.
Read the full list of things to do if you are in a car accident at www.liattorney.com/scales-of-justice.html.