What to do After an Accident

If you have been in a motor vehicle accident here are some suggestions for things you should do and others that you should not:

  • Do stay in your car if you are hurt and wait for emergency personnel
  • Do tell emergency personnel everything that hurts at the scene
  • Do make sure you get the information about the other driver
  • Do identify witnesses including passengers in other vehicles
  • Do take pictures of the scene and the vehicles involved if you can
  • Do not confront the other driver
  • Do not argue with police
  • Do not apologize or take the blame if you are not sure what happened
  • Do not leave the scene without information about the other driver
  • Do not post about the accident on Facebook, other social media or e-mail
  • Do not speak with an insurance company before you consult your lawyer

If you have been injured because of a dangerous condition on property such as a defect, snow or ice, poor lighting, broken railing, broken steps or stairs, water or other substance on the floor or something that fell on you:

  • Do take photos as soon as possible and before the condition changes or is repaired
  • Do look to see if there is video surveillance in the area
  • Do get the names of witnesses
  • Do report the injury to the building owner or store manager
  • Do get a copy of the incident report
  • Do request medical assistance if you are injured
  • Don’t be embarrassed and leave without reporting the injury
  • Don’t threaten to sue or call your lawyer
  • Don’t say, “this happens all the time” , admit to being clumsy, or disclose a prior medical condition as the cause
  • Don’t say that you are not injured if you are in pain
  • Don’t suffer for days without calling your doctor
  • Don’t post about the incident on Facebook, social media or e-mail
  • Don’t talk to an insurance company before you consult your lawyer

If you or your child has been bitten by a dog, or injured by another animal:

  • Do get the name of the owner
  • Do take a picture of the dog if you can
  • Do make note of a description of the dog and its name for identification later
  • Do get medical treatment immediately
  • Do confirm the dog is up to date on its shots
  • Do get the name of the veterinarian that treats the dog
  • Do report to the police or animal control
  • Do not say things like “my child must have done something to make the dog angry”
  • Do not let the dog get away, it is a sure way to require rabies shots
  • Do not avoid the above just because the dog is owned by a family member or friend

If you have been injured at work:

  • Do report it immediately even if it seems minor at the time
  • Do ask for a copy of the report
  • Do seek medical treatment if you think you need it
  • Do keep your employer informed if you cannot return to work
  • Do not rely on co-employees to report the injury
  • Do not discuss the injury or medical treatment with co-employees
  • Do not post about the injury on Facebook, social media or e-mail
  • Do not give a statement to an insurance company before you consult your lawyer
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