Car accidents can be a distressing experience, especially if the accident was not your fault. You may be seriously injured and wondering what to do next, or you may not know how to deal with the insurance company and any potential legal issues.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect your health and your legal rights in the aftermath of a serious car accident. Here’s what you need to know.
What to do after an accident in Maine
If you are healthy enough to do so, there are a few things you should immediately do right after an accident.
Pull your vehicle over.
First, ensure your vehicle is out of harm’s way at the crash scene to avoid another collision. As long as your car can still drive, you should pull over to the side of the road and park safely away from traffic. Keep in mind that under Maine law, “The operator of a vehicle involved in an accident anywhere that results in personal injury or death to a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or stop as close as possible and immediately return to the scene.”
Notify the police about your accident. If someone has been injured, request an ambulance. If the other driver fled the crash scene, do not follow them. Give police as many details as possible about the other driver and their vehicle, and let law enforcement handle the rest. Cooperate with the investigating officer and stick to the facts of what happened. You should request a copy of the police accident report in the following days.
Take pictures of your accident as soon as possible after the collision. Be sure to capture a few different angles of the crash scene and include any relevant street signs, traffic signals, tire marks, vehicle damage, and visible injuries. If anyone witnessed your crash, get their name and contact information.
If possible, get the following information from the other driver:
- Name, address, phone number, driver’s license, and license plate number.
- Names and contact information of passengers.
- Insurance company information.
Whatever you do, don’t discuss fault with the other driver. Anything you say at the crash scene can be used against you if you pursue a claim. Even saying something as seemingly harmless as “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t see you” can be misconstrued as an admission of fault, which could hurt the compensation you’re eligible to recover.
Seek medical treatment
Even if you don’t feel like you’re in pain or suffering from an injury at the crash scene, make sure to get checked out by an EMT, paramedic, or some other licensed medical professional. After an accident, your adrenaline levels are high, and you are in no position to diagnose yourself. Instead, go to your primary care physician, an urgent care center, or a hospital and let a doctor examine you. This will protect your health and properly document any potential injuries.
Notify your insurance company
You need to notify your insurance carrier promptly that you were involved in an accident, but don’t go into too much detail aside from the crash’s date, time, and location. The last thing you want to do is say the wrong thing by mistake and compromise your potential injury claim.
Talk to a car accident attorney about your legal options.
Finally, it’s in your interest to call a car accident lawyer in your area who can step in, investigate your accident, and deal with the insurance company while you focus on healing. If you were injured in an accident that was not your fault, you have the right to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.
But unfortunately, the insurance company will try to take advantage of your unfortunate situation and pay you as little as possible. That’s why you need an experienced attorney on your side to protect your rights and aggressively advocate for your best interests.
At the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein, our attorneys have been fighting for injured Mainers since 1974. As a result, we’ve recovered over $500 million for our clients and secured over 25,000 victories for families in Maine. To find out how we can help you, contact us today for a free case evaluation with an experienced Maine car accident lawyer.