What to Do When You’re in an Accident

When you’re HURT in an accident, dial 911
then dial
1-800-HURT-911 ®     the Accident Assistance LineK
(Attorney Advertising)

HURT-911®  Presents the following advice for accident victims:

Stop – Failure to stop after an accident is a felony if someone is injured. Failure to stop after an accident is a misdemeanor if no one is injured and there is only property damage.

CALL 911 Report an accident and advise if anyone is injured.  Take an ambulance to the hospital if you are injured.

Safety – If you’re not injured, protect the scene with flares if possible.  If your car is on a street with fast moving traffic, wait for the police outside of your car, off the road and on the side away from your car, just in case your car is struck by another car.  Do not stand in front of your car and do not stand with your back to the traffic.

Police Insist that a police accident report is made when the police arrive; cooperate with the police but do not make admissions or give opinions. If there are any witnesses on your behalf, get their name, address & telephone number and ask them to give a statement to the police officer.  Get a Police Accident Report #.

Identification Get the name & address of all other drivers and registered owners of all other vehicles involved in the accident.  Also get the license plate numbers, VIN (Vehicle Identification #) and the state of registration for all other vehicles involved in the accident. If a 2 piece truck is involved in the accident, get the license plate number, VIN & state of both the cab and the trailer.

Take notes to help you remember all of the facts leading up to the accident.

CALL 1-800-HURT-911 or click here to Find an Attorney at HURT-911®  and protect your rights, if you are injured.  You should also see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident.

For Both Motor Vehicle AND All Other Types of Accidents: 

Why you should see an attorney immediately and not wait?  After an accident, there are many forms claim notices which have short time deadlines to file, some of which may be only a number of days.  Only an experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to fill out and file the forms and claim notices correctly.  These forms should be filled out and filed by your attorney.  For instance, you may be required to file an accident report with the Department of Motor Vehicles within days of the accident, if someone is injured or if there is substantial property damage. This form will usually be sent to you by your insurance company.  You should give this form to your attorney to assist you in completing it.  If you are injured in a No-Fault state, you must file a notice of claim and an application for No-Fault benefits with the No-Fault insurance company within days of the date of accident (your attorney should do this for you).  If a municipality may be liable for any part of your injuries, (such as improper road design or a missing sign) you must file a notice of claim with the municipality, usually, within 90 days of the date of accident (your attorney must do this for you). The insurance company for the person(s) responsible for your injuries should be immediately notified by your attorney of your claim, since failure to do so can allow the insurance company to decline coverage.  For all of these reasons, it is vitally important for you to call 1-800-HURT-911 ® to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident so that your rights can be protected. CALL 1-800-HURT-911 or click here to Find an Attorney at HURT-911 ®

Things that must be done with time sensitive deadlines (A lawyer at 1-800-HURT-911 can do this for you):

  • Notify your insurance company: MUST BE DONE IMMEDIATELY
  • Begin investigation: MUST BE DONE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
  • File Accident Report with the Department of Motor Vehicles (car accident): USUALLY MUST BE FILED WITHIN A NUMBER OF DAYS
  • File No-Fault Claim (car accident – if applicable): USUALLY MUST BE FILED WITHIN A NUMBER OF DAYS
  • File claim for State Disability: USUALLY MUST BE FILED WITHIN A NUMBER OF DAYS
  • File Notice of Claim (if applicable): USUALLY 90 DAY DEADLINE
  • File claim with all defendant insurance companies: SHOULD BE DONE WITHIN DAYS OF ACCIDENT
  • File claim with State insurance fund for uninsured drivers (car accident): USUALLY MUST BE FILED WITHIN A NUMBER OF DAYS


The insurance company will protect itself;  What should you do to protect yourself?

Do not speak with anyone except your own insurance company and your attorney.  Oral statements are admissible evidence and can be as damaging as written statements. Refer all inquiries directly to your attorney.  Do not discuss details of how the accident occurred with your doctors.  Simply tell your doctors that you had a car accident or fell on stairs, etc., without discussing how the car accident happened or what caused you to fall, etc.

If you have obvious bruises or substantial damage to your car, take pictures with a 35mm camera. If you use a digital camera, be sure to also use a 35mm camera.  If you do not have a 35mm camera, let your attorney know so he/she can arrange to take the pictures.

It has become common for insurance companies to hire investigators to question your neighbors and friends and to follow you for the purpose of taking pictures. Notify your attorney if you hear of any inquiries being made to your neighbors, friends or family regarding your condition.

Be sure to keep and be on time for all doctor and therapy appointments. You should know that even if you are in a lot of pain, the only way you can be entitled to receive money for your injuries is to document your injuries by seeing your doctors and therapists at the appointed time. Every time you visit a doctor, you should tell the doctor if and where you have pain, even if you have told that to your doctor many times before. Every missed doctor’s and therapy appointment will damage and devalue your case. This is important because, without continuous medical treatment, your attorney will not be able to prove to a jury that your injury is serious and still causing pain. If your case does not go to trial and is settled earlier, the insurance company will offer to settle only on the basis of what they believe you could prove to a jury at trial. It is vital to your case that you let your attorney know when you are no longer being treated for your injuries.

Keep a precise record of every expense that you incur as a result of the accident and obtain receipts for all expenditures, (i.e., taxis, prescriptions, doctors, etc.). If in doubt about any particular expense, keep a record of it. Forward a copy of the receipts to your attorney.  Ask your attorney about how and when to forward receipts to an insurance company for reimbursement.

CALL 1-800-HURT-911 or click here to Find an Attorney at HURT-911 ®

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Minimize neck & back pain after an accident!  Before you HURT see:  Treatment of Injuries and see a doctor immediately!