Immediate Actions After a No-Fault Car Accident in Rhode Island imageNobody ever expects to be involved in a traffic accident, but collisions occur far more frequently than most of us would like to imagine. The shock of being in a car crash can leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused about what to do next. However, knowing what steps to take can be immensely consequential for your ability to receive compensation for expenses such as medical bills and lost income, as well as the less tangible losses that occur as a result of a collision. Here is what to do after an accident that is not your fault in Rhode Island.

Prioritize Safety 

Immediately following any accident, your priority should be to keep yourself and others safe. If possible, move your vehicle to a location where it will not be in the way of traffic, and turn your hazard lights on. Check yourself and others, especially children or vulnerable adults, for injuries. Call 911 if anyone appears to be severely injured. If you have training in first aid, administer it accordingly until emergency medical services arrive on the scene.

Call the Police

Rhode Island requires motorists to report an accident to law enforcement if there are any injuries, fatalities, or property damage worth $1,000 or more. However, you should always notify the police after an accident, even if you do not believe any harm or damage occurred.

The officer who arrives on the scene will interview those involved, assess the situation, and fill out a police report. The report will contain information about the date and time of the accident, individuals and vehicles involved, and any injuries that have occurred. The officer will also include their initial assessment of who was at fault for the accident and whether they issued any citations.

The crash report will be crucial evidence in your compensation claim. You can usually obtain a copy of the report within 72 hours. Aim to do so as soon as possible so you and your attorney can review it for any errors.

Take Pictures of the Accident Scene

If you have a smartphone or a digital camera, taking photos and videos of the accident scene can be highly valuable. Images of the vehicles, property damage, skid marks, road conditions, traffic signs, and any injuries can carry a lot of weight when presenting your case to an insurance company or a court. Be sure to capture photos from all possible angles.

Collect Contact Information

Exchange information with the other motorist before leaving the accident scene. Be sure to collect their name, phone number, license plate number, and insurance details. If anyone witnessed the crash, ask for their details as well. Eyewitness testimony can make a significant difference when determining who was at fault for the accident. 

Seek Medical Attention As Soon As Possible

Even if you believe your injuries are minor, or if you think you have not suffered harm at all, you should always see a trained medical professional after being involved in an accident. The effects of adrenaline can mask pain in the moments after a crash, and you might not be aware of injury symptoms for several hours or days. A thorough doctor’s examination can detect signs of harm before you begin to notice them yourself.

Many accident victims unwittingly harm their chances of successful claims by neglecting to seek medical attention early enough. Insurance companies often point to the long gap between the date of an accident and the first time someone sees a doctor as evidence that the crash and the injury are not connected. By seeking medical help right away, you will leave less room for doubt.

Notify the Insurance Company

After an accident, one common question you might have is, “Someone hit my car. Whose insurance do I call?” You should always notify your own insurance company and the at-fault driver’s insurer as soon as possible. Your insurance policy will outline the amount of time you have to report an accident to them, and reporting the crash too late might have negative consequences.

When you speak to an insurance adjuster, whether from your own company or that of the at-fault driver, inform them of the basic facts of the incident. Do not admit fault, say you should have done something differently, or speculate as to why the crash occurred. If an insurer asks you for a recorded statement about the collision or your injuries, tell them that you will let your attorney handle all communications on your behalf.

Contact an Experienced Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer

Immediate Actions After a No-Fault Car Accident in Rhode Island image 2Consulting with a skilled and knowledgeable Rhode Island car accident attorney as soon as possible is one of the most significant steps you can take toward a successful compensation claim. A seasoned attorney can maximize your chances of holding the at-fault party accountable for their negligence.

Your lawyer will investigate the crash, calculate the total value of your losses, and negotiate aggressively with the at-fault party’s insurance company for a fair settlement package to pay for your injuries and losses. If the insurer denies responsibility or refuses to offer you what you deserve, your legal professional can take the at-fault party to court.

Hurt in a Car Accident in Rhode Island? Call Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. Today

The aftermath of a car accident can be one of the most stressful and overwhelming times in a person’s life. Although there is so much to do, taking all the right actions can feel impossible when you are still healing. However, the experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. wants you to know that you are not alone. We are ready to give you the support and advocacy you need, handling all aspects of your claim so you can focus on your recovery. Furthermore, you will pay us nothing until we win a financial award for your case.

Call us today at (401) 751-8855 or contact us online for a free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers in Providence.

Written By: Ronald J. Resmini

Last Updated : Tuesday, May 7, 2024