What To Do After A Rhode Island Car Accident?
If you have been involved in a car crash, it is vital to keep calm and not panic. Understandably, a car accident is one of the most stressful and traumatizing experiences one can go through in their life.
However, it is essential to know what to do at the scene of a car accident to preserve evidence and protect your right to financial compensation. After all, the steps you take immediately after the crash will have a significant impact on your personal injury claim.
Speak with our Rhode Island car accident lawyer at Robert E. Craven & Associates to help you preserve your right to damages following your collision.
7 Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Rhode Island
- Get to Safety
If the crash does not involve injuries or fatalities and your vehicle is in a drivable condition, you should try to move your car to the shoulder of the road. The last thing you need is other drivers crashing into your vehicle because it is standing in the middle of the road.
- Call 911
The second step is to call the police and, if necessary, get medical help. Police officers will write a police report, which will become a valuable piece of evidence if you decide to pursue compensation after the crash.
Under Rhode Island law, drivers are required to report crashes resulting in bodily injury or death or property damage in excess of $1,000 (R.I. General Laws § 31-26-6). Drivers involved in such accidents must submit a written report to the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 21 days after the accident.
- Exchange Information with Other Parties
The next thing you should do after your car accident in Rhode Island is exchanging contact with other parties involved in the collision. Write down their names, address, phone numbers, license plate, vehicle model and make, and insurance information.
If the other driver refuses to cooperate at the crash scene, wait until police officers arrive.
- Talk to Witnesses
It is equally important to speak with witnesses and write down their contact information as well. Witnesses can play a significant role in the outcome of your personal injury case because their testimony can help you support your claim.
- Gather Evidence
This one may not be possible if you have been badly injured. Otherwise, you should do your best to collect all relevant information at the scene of your accident, including photos and videos. Take pictures of the vehicle damage, positioning of the cars involved in the accident, skid marks, road and traffic signs, and other details.
- Call Your Insurance Company
Your auto insurance policy may have a clause that requires you to inform the insurer of all car accidents. However, it is not advised to speak with your insurer before you talk to a lawyer because insurance companies are interested in paying you as little as possible or nothing at all.
- Speak with a Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer
Calling a skilled lawyer following a car accident in Rhode Island is important to preserve your right to damages, collect evidence to strengthen your claim, and negotiate with the insurance company to ensure that you receive the full compensation you are entitled to.
The best part about hiring a Rhode Island car accident lawyer at Robert E. Craven & Associates is that you do not have to pay anything for the legal representation unless we win. Call 401-453-2700 for a case review.