What is the most important thing I should do if I get into a car accident?
Call the police IMMEDIATELY. Far too often, people think that an accident is just a minor fender bender and there is no need to contact the police, but there are two significant problems with this line of thinking. First, when you get into an accident your adrenaline may be elevated which will mask your pain. Often it is not until a few hours after an auto accident that someone realizes that they were injured as a result of the accident. By not contacting the police, you put yourself in jeopardy of further injury. Equally important, is documentation of the accident by law enforcement. In certain situations such as a hit and run accident, the car accident must be reported to the police in order for you to make a claim for UM benefits. Similarly, a police report documenting the cause and nature of the accident protects you from the at fault driver changing his story down the road.
What is the one thing that I should not do after a car accident?
Never admit fault. Many people often believe they caused the accident when in fact it was not their fault. This is typically the result of the excitement and commotion of the accident, which affects your ability to think clearly. It does you no good down road if the police or an accident reconstruction expert makes a determination that the other driver was at fault if you have already admitted to fault. Let the police and accident reconstructionists do their job and determine the at fault driver.