More than 7 million
car accidents occur every year on U.S. roadways, killing 40,000 people and injuring
two million more. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA), this amounts to one in four drivers who experience a car accident
during their lifetime.
Would you know what to do if you were involved in a car accident? Read
below for a step-by-step guide from the New Hampshire auto accident lawyers
at Shaheen & Gordon, P.A.
What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident
If you are ever involved in a minor collision, keep in mind the following
tips to protect your legal rights after an accident:
Stay calm. It may be tempting to panic or to get angry, but these responses are
counterproductive and will make you more likely to forget to follow protocol.
Don’t admit fault. Avoid making any statements about who may have been to blame for the
accident. Even a simple statement like “I’m sorry” could
be used against you by the other driver’s insurance company as evidence
of admission of guilt, so try to say as little as possible and leave it
up to the insurance companies to decide who was at fault.
Check for injuries. If you, any of your passengers, or anyone in the other vehicle were hurt,
call an ambulance immediately.
Call for help. Even if there are no injuries, call the police. When police arrive at
the scene of the accident, they will create a police report containing
the details of the accident. In a “modified” comparative fault
state like New Hampshire, this report can be an important part of your
claim because it helps establish how much you and the other party were
to blame for the accident, and by extension, how much you will be able
to recover in a lawsuit.
Swap insurance information. Drivers are required by law to exchange insurance information after an
accident. Make sure to take down the driver’s name, contact information,
and insurance company information. Also make a note of the description
of the vehicle and their license plate number.
Gather evidence. Take photos of videos of the damage caused by the accident, including
injuries and damage to your vehicle. If there were witnesses, take down
their names and contact information as well as a brief statement of what they saw.
Contact your insurance company. Finally, contact your insurance company to report the accident, whether
you were at fault or not. If you are convinced that you were not to blame
for the accident, you can file a claim through their insurance company as well.
What if the Car Accident Was Not Your Fault?
After a collision involving injuries and/or significant property damage,
you may be able to sue the driver directly for damages to cover costs
related to the accident.
Have you been involved in a car accident in New England? Because New Hampshire
is a modified comparative fault state, even if you were partially at fault
for the accident, you may still be able to recover some compensation.
Call the New Hampshire car accident lawyers at Shaheen & Gordon, P.A.
as soon as possible! We can launch a thorough investigation of our own
to determine exactly how much compensation you may be entitled to. As
one of the largest law firms in the state with decades of experience and
countless satisfied clients, you can trust in our ability to pursue justice
in your case.
Request your FREE case evaluation.
Contact one of our New England offices today!