5 Things You Must Do After an Automobile Accident

By Greg Kohn

Even minor car accidents can be terrifying. However, the few minutes or even hours just after an accident can be crucial to your personal injury case. Because of this, it is important to keep your wits about you, if possible, after a car accident. Getting information and talking to witnesses can be extremely beneficial to provide to your New Jersey car accident attorney.

  • Always stop

You should never leave the scene of a crash. Get out of your car and check to be sure that everyone is alright. If they are not, call for medical help right away.

Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal in New Jersey. You may be forced to pay a fine of up to $5,000 or be imprisoned for up to 180 days if you leave the scene and there were any injuries. Keep in mind that leaving the scene can signal that you were not injured because of this law. It is always a good idea to stop—to avoid fines or imprisonment and for your personal injury case.

  • Get medical attention

Getting medical help is always the first thing you should do after an accident. If you or anyone else involved needs emergency care, make the call to get it right away. There is no need for police to arrive for you to get medical attention.

  • Protect yourselves and the scene

It is a good idea to leave the scene of the accident intact as much as possible after a collision. This will allow the police to examine the situation and make observations about what they saw. However, keeping everything in the middle of the road or as-is is not always possible or safe. If you need to get out of traffic, move the vehicles to a location that is still near the accident.

  • Call the police

You can fulfill your reporting requirements under New Jersey law by calling the police to the scene. Having an officer at the scene of the crash is also a good idea so that he or she can do some investigative work for you. The officer will provide a summary of the accident, talk to witnesses, take photos, and more. He or she may also issue a citation to a driver who was not following the rules of the road or make determinations about who was at fault for the crash. This information can all be very valuable for your case.

  • Tell your story to the police

Be sure to talk to the officer to get your story in the police report. If the other driver said anything to you about the cause of the accident or fault, it is a good idea to tell the police about that too. That information can be put in the police report, which can be very helpful for your case.

Call a New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer

Call a lawyer as soon as you are able to after the accident. Chances are that the other driver’s insurance company will want you to make a statement right away, and you should not do that alone. Contact our New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Nagel Rice to learn about your options.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.