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You’ve just been in an auto accident. Your adrenaline is pumping. You’re scared, nervous and possibly even in pain. What do you do now?

The actions that you take in the first moments after an accident can impact your health and finances for the rest of your life. You need to make sure to get it right because, like most of life there is no second chance to go back.

I know this all may sound very melodramatic, but believe me when I tell you that in the course of my career, as a personal injury attorney, I have seen literally thousands of people who have suffered injuries and damages to their property who have been left holding the bag, by the uncaring insurance industry, simply because they didn’t know what steps to take in the first moments after a crash occurred.

For me it is heart wrenching and I have dedicated myself to stopping it any way I can. That is why I do my best to educate the public with articles like this. To see that you get what you rightfully have coming and that those at fault, don’t walk away.

In this article we are going to cover the very first action you should take, dialing 911.

Why Dial 911 First Thing

It Protects You

There are a number of reasons why dialing 911 should be your first action after an accident occurs. The first of these is that by calling you are making an unconscious statement about the severity of the collision. This simple act tells the authorities and the other parties involved that this is not a matter to be brushed aside.

It should also be noted that a call to 911 is automatically recorded and is admissible as evidence in a court case. If you should have to go to trial to recover damages, a jury will be allowed to hear the recording. The fear, excitement or pain in your voice can be a strong emotional weapon against the insurance industry.

If you don’t call 911, the other driver’s insurance will use this against you. They will argue that it must not have been too serious an accident or you must not have been hurt; if you had been, you would have called for assistants. They might even suggest that any injuries you sustained are being faked or that the damages to your vehicle were sustained at another time.

You have to remember that insurance companies are all about making money, not taking care of people. Their adjusters and lawyers will say and do anything they can to save the company a dollar.

Authorities Will Establish the Facts

The second reason you want to dial 911 is so that the legal authorities can establish the facts of the accident. They will verify:

  • The driver’s identity
  • Who owns the vehicles involved
  • Who was at fault
  • Extenuating circumstances
  • Possible third party involvement

All of these are facts that you will need to know if you are to assure that your rights are going to be protected.

In our next article we will look at what you should and shouldn’t say and do once the authorities arrive and, space permitting, start explaining why you should always have a medical exam as soon as possible, even if you don’t feel any pain or suspect any injuries.