Say you’re driving your car on the highway in Rhode Island and another motorist hits you. Chances are, you’re shaken up, assessing yourself for injuries, and concerned about the other driver’s wellbeing. The decisions you make immediately following an automobile accident can have significant consequences on your legal claim in Rhode Island.
What should you do?
If you feel injured, remain where you are. First (and most importantly) you can worsen your injury by moving. You should wait for medical personnel to arrive on the scene. If you feel that you’re uninjured, you should carefully exit your vehicle and ask any involved parties if they’re ok. It’s acceptable to check on their health but be sure not to accept blame for any portion of the accident – that will only hurt your case.
Next, you should call 911 and request police and a rescue. While you’re awaiting emergency personnel, take pictures of the damage to your vehicle and the other vehicles. Also, be sure to photograph the scene of the accident including any debris that may (or may not) have been in the roadway. Additionally, you should get the contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
Allow the police to control the scene while letting paramedics evaluate you for injuries. If you’re able to, provide the police with a statement but do not accept blame. If the paramedics suggest that you go to the hospital, you should seek let them transport you to the emergency room. Our attorneys have seen many cases where drivers have refused medical treatment only to have debilitating pain and serious personal injuries arise only hours later. Let medical professionals assess your condition, don’t gamble with your health. Lastly, follow up with any recommended treatment or schedule a visit with your primary care physician a few days after the accident to ensure that you’re healthy.