After a car accident, there are several steps that New Jersey motorists should take. They should stop even if there appears to be no damages.
People should not discuss the accident with others involved or admit fault. However, they should collect the other driver's name, contact information and insurance company information as well as information about the car such as license plate number, make and model. They should take photos if possible that show the position of the cars and any damage. They should also make note of weather conditions and when and where the accident happened. Contact information for any witnesses should also be recorded. Police should be called, and officers' names and badge numbers noted. As soon as possible after the accident, people should write down their version of the accident while the details are still fresh.
The insurance company should be contacted soon after the accident for information on how to file a claim. If possible, people might want to call from the scene of the accident. The accident report should be factual. Information about a person's feelings or speculation about being at fault should not be included.
It is important to gather as much accurate information as possible after motor vehicle accidents because while the insurance company of the driver responsible is supposed to pay a person's expenses associated with the accident, in practice, it is not always this straightforward. The insurance company might dispute the extent of a person's injuries or may simply offer too little in compensation. The driver who caused the accident might not have adequate insurance coverage. In these types of cases, the injured person may want to file a civil lawsuit against the driver and any others who caused the accident.