Motor Vehicle Collision? What Do You Do?

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By Susan D’Alonzo Ament, Esquire

Did you know that 21,256 traffic collisions were investigated in 2016 by the Delaware State Police alone? These collisions resulted in 120 fatalities – 28 of them pedestrians.1 If you or a loved were to be involved in an automobile accident, would you know what to do? The following is a list of steps you should follow to protect yourself or loved one involved in a motor vehicle collision:

Stop your Vehicle

Never drive away from the scene of a collision, even if a minor collision. The vehicles should remain in place – unless they interfere with traffic. Turn your hazards on, and set out cones or other warning devices if you have them.

Call 911 or the Police

Even if there are no serious injuries, call to report the collision. An officer will be sent to file necessary reports and exchange information as well as request medical personnel for injuries.

Take Photos

Use your camera or phone to photograph the collision scene, document damage to the vehicles, and depict how the collision took place.

Retrieve Relevant Information

Record the names and contact information of the other drivers or witnesses; license plate numbers; the make, the model, and the colors of other vehicles; insurance information; and the exact location of the incident.

File a Collision Report with the Police

In some circumstances, the police will not come to the scene of a collision. Should this happen, you should still contact the police to report the collision. A police report may help you make a claim with the insurance companies.

Contact your Insurance Company

Report the collision to your insurance company – even if the collision was not your fault.

Do not give a Recorded Statement over the Telephone

Do not give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance adjuster without an attorney present.

Seek Medical Attention

Often injuries are not readily apparent in the hours, or even days, following a collision. Unless you are absolutely sure you were not injured, you should be examined by your family doctor or emergency medical professionals.

Keep a File

Keep a file with all of the relevant information regarding the collision in one location for easy reference.

Know your Automobile Insurance Policy

The insurance process will be much easier if you know and understand your policy benefits and coverages before a collision. Never wait until after an incident to learn this information. For example, do you know if you have a deductible, rental car coverage, or enough wage loss coverage? If you’re not sure, call your insurance agent or insurance company directly and find out!

If you or a loved one suffers the unfortunate event of a motor vehicle collision or work-related collision, the Personal Injury Group Attorneys at Morris James LLP will guide you through the process of obtaining the maximum compensation for your injuries to which you are entitled under the law. With multiple locations throughout the State of Delaware, we are available to serve you.

 1Delaware State Police’s 2016

Traffic Statistical Report

susan_ament_morris_james_am11_sqSusan D’Alonzo Ament is a partner with Morris James LLP and has practiced for 33 years representing personal injury victims. Over the years, Mrs. Ament has found that some women don’t understand the crucial need to have adequate automobile insurance coverage in the event of a serious accident. Susan Ament educates women on these needs every day in her practice and in seminars that she presents throughout the year.