The Law Offices of Ossie Brown
P 225-424-7388

You're in a car accident. What do you do now?

In driver's training, they taught you how to stay safe and avoid car accidents. Your parents did the same thing when you drove with them. Everything you learned focused on preventing accidents, avoiding hazards, limiting risks and things of this nature.

Those are important skills to learn, but they do not mean you'll never get in a wreck. When another driver runs a stop sign and hits your car, you realize that no one spent all that much time telling you what to do after an accident. If it's your first one, it doesn't matter if you're 16 or 60. You've never been through this before and you have no experience. Now what do you do?

Here are a few key tips that can help:

  • Put safety and health first. Make sure you did not get injured. Check on your passengers. If needed, call 911 to get an ambulance to your location as soon as possible. Forget about property damage or who was at fault for the moment. Just focus on getting the assistance that you need.
  • Do not leave the scene of the crash on your own. Always stay and talk to the authorities and/or the other driver. Leaving is illegal. It does not matter if you caused the accident or they did. You cannot leave the scene. Naturally, if the emergency crews take you to the hospital, that's different, but don't leave under your own power or it could bring about hit and run charges.
  • Do not tell the other driver that you think you caused the crash. If that person clearly ran a stop sign, as in the example above, there's not much risk of this. But remember that things aren't always too clear right after a crash. Never admit fault. No matter what happened, wait for all of the details to come out in the future.
  • If you talk to the other driver, stick to the basics. Exchange insurance information. Exchange contact information. You don't have to start talking about the details of the crash or arguing with them. Just get the information you need and end it.
  • Take pictures and gather information. Pictures of the damage and the scene itself help preserve that evidence long after the cars and drivers are gone. If you worry about the other driver leaving the scene before police arrive, take a picture of their license plate as well. Clearly, you cannot do this if you're badly injured, and health always comes first. But, if you have the time and the ability, documentation only helps your case.

Starting that case, if you need to seek financial compensation, can be a delicate process. Make sure you know exactly what steps to take.

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The Law Offices of Ossie Brown
123 Saint Ferdinand Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Phone: 225-424-7388
Fax: 225-334-7824
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