It can happen in a flash. You’re driving down the street, and the next thing you know you’ve been in a Rhode Island car crash. Any time you’re in an accident, it’s a shock, but if you’re injured the situation can be even more confusing and frightening. That’s why it’s always important to know exactly what to do in the case of injury, so you’re prepared in the event that the unthinkable happens.
Call for Help
If you’re injured in a car accident in Rhode Island or Massachusetts and you’re able to get to a phone, the first and most important thing to do is call the police. By doing this, you’ll be able to ensure that you and whoever else is involved in the car accident will get the help they need as soon as possible. Describe the situation to the authorities as accurately as possible when you call including: number of people, if there are any children involved, number of injuries, type of accident, and so on. This will help the dispatcher know which services you need, and can help you and those involved, get help much faster than if you only provide vague details.
Don’t Leave the scene of a RI or MA motor vehicle crash
Never leave the scene of a Rhode Island or Massachusetts (MA.) accident until you are cleared to leave by the police or medical personnel. It is important that everyone stay where they are and in a safe place, and that all of those who were involved in the accident are available to answer questions, give reports, exchange insurance information, and get medical treatment. While it’s acceptable and advisable to move over to the side of the road (if you can) or get out of the way of traffic if you’re located in an unsafe area.
If you can stay where you are without increasing the risk to you or others, do so. When police and medical personnel arrive at the scene, they will help guide you to a safe place without increasing the risk to those involved in the automobile crash and other drivers.
Check on Others
Check on the other passengers of your car first to see if anyone is seriously injured. You should do this while you’re calling for medical help. That way, you’ll have an accurate injury count to provide to the dispatcher. If you’re able to get to the other car to see if they are injured without endangering yourself or furthering your injuries, you may do so. However, if you’re injured, it’s best not to move unless staying in the car poses an eminent threat to your safety.
Solicit the Help of Witnesses
If other people saw the car or truck accident and are standing around the scene (or otherwise available for conversation) be sure to ask them if they’d be willing to talk to the police and medical personnel who arrive. Eyewitnesses can corroborate each other’s stories, and also help to provide support for your claim. Physical evidence is important, but it can only go so far in telling the medical and legal professionals handling your case what happened. Eyewitness testimony can go a long way to proving your case should it go to trial, but they can also provide crucial information for your insurance company and the first responders, as well.
Take as many pictures as possible immediately after the RI or MA auto accident/ crash. Even if you can’t leave your car, if you have access to a camera or a smartphone with a camera app, start taking as many pictures as you can. Once the accident has been cleared from the road, it’s much more difficult to determine what happened. The more images you can take, the better your case will be, and the more efficient the legal and medical professionals acting on your behalf can be. Pictures are often the proof you need to convince others of your version of what happened. Also, all the pictures you take may go into your insurance file, so even if it never goes to court, you still might be able to help yourself financially in this manner.
It’s crucial that you track any medical, legal, or other expenses related to your motorcycle , bicycle or semi truck accident, and keep them in a folder or file that you can easily access. Your insurance company, personal injury lawyers, other medical professionals, and anyone else related to or working on the case will need this information, and it will be particularly helpful to you if you have to go to trial due to your motor vehicle accident.
Remember: safety is your first priority. Gather all the information you can, call emergency services, get to a safe place if possible, and let the professionals do their job and help you and those with you. However, be your own advocate as well by taking pictures, tracking expenses, gathering witness testimony, and keeping a file with all of this evidence. Accidents can happen, but now you’ll be prepared.
Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.