A Rhode Island motorist's immediate actions following a car accident could play a part in determining just how well that person's best interests will ultimately be protected. Before calling an attorney, drivers who have been involved in an accident that wasn't their fault should take certain steps while still at the scene.
Some accidents may only be minor. After checking the occupants for injuries and moving wrecked vehicles out of the flow of traffic, the motorist should obtain the other driver's contact information as well as the name of that individual's insurance company and policy number. Witness statements containing contact information could also prove important, and photographs of the site showing the at-fault driver's license plate along with pictures of visible damage might support a case if the liable party leaves the scene or is otherwise uncooperative.
Seeking emergency medical attention for those who have been injured should take priority. Notes recorded at the scene regarding any injuries and their severity could support a plaintiff's case if one is later filed, but an injured party may not always be able to do that. Affected motorists may also want to consider that some injuries may not become apparent for some time following a car wreck. In some cases, the occupants of the car that was hit may later have to incur medical expenses due to injuries even though they may have appeared fine at the scene.
In Rhode Island, a personal injury attorney could advise clients of their legal options when they want to seek compensation in connection with serious car accidents caused by the negligence of another driver. The attorney may be able to negotiate a fair settlement with the at-fault party's insurer or litigate the matter in court on a client's behalf.