Assessing the damage after a Rhode Island car crash
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Have You Been in a Rhode Island Car Crash? 6 Steps to Take

Getting in a car crash is scary — as it’s happening, you have no way of knowing how badly you’ll be injured. But the aftermath can be just as disorienting. When you’re in pain, in shock, or just shaken up, it’s difficult to think clearly. Have you been in a Rhode Island car crash? If so, here’s what to do.

1. If Possible, Move Somewhere Safer

If you have been in a minor accident and both cars are still drivable, you and the other driver should try to move your cars off the roadway. If your vehicles stay on the road, there’s a chance other cars might hit them, causing a pileup.

In some instances, your car might be too damaged to drive. If you can get out of the car and to the side of the road, it’s a good idea to do so. Whether you remain in the car or not, turn on your hazard flashers — this may help other drivers see your car, especially at night.

2. Call the Police

After getting to safety, the next step is to call 911. The operator will likely dispatch both police and emergency medical personnel.

You might wonder why you need to call the police for a minor accident. Some drivers are dishonest about how the crash occurred, and they might even say you were at fault when you weren’t.

If a police officer comes to the scene and writes out a car accident report, they will write what they think happened and who they believe was at fault. If the other driver is trying to blame you, having a police report that corroborates your version of events is important.

3. Seek Medical Attention if Needed

Some car crashes lead to devastating injuries, but if you’re in a minor crash, you might not think you’re hurt at all. Even if you think you have no injuries, you should always see the onsite EMS personnel or a doctor immediately after the accident. Several types of serious injuries often aren’t immediately evident:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Ruptured discs and other back injuries
  • Injuries to internal organs
  • Concussions

If you decide to pursue legal action against the other driver, having injuries documented soon after the accident is essential. If you wait too long after the accident to see a doctor, the other party might argue that your injuries weren’t caused by the accident.

4. Document Everything

Don’t rely on your memory when it comes to recalling key details of the accident. Head injuries can cause amnesia, but even without a head injury, it’s easy to lose track of details over time. There are two main kinds of documentation you need — general (written) information and photographic evidence of the scene.

Don’t leave the scene without taking down some key pieces of information:

  • Driver’s license information of all drivers involved
  • Insurance information for all involved drivers
  • Contact information for any witnesses who saw the accident

After you leave the scene, it can also be helpful to write a narrative of how the accident occurred. Your memory of the accident might get fuzzy over time, so an accurate, immediate account can help.

Photographic evidence is also important, particularly if you file a claim against the other driver. Make sure to take pictures of the following:

  • Interior/exterior damage to both vehicles
  • Any objects involved (like telephone poles, road debris, etc.)
  • How the vehicles are positioned at the crash scene
  • License plates of both vehicles

If you have significant injuries, it’s also wise to take detailed photographs. Make sure to save all photos in multiple digital locations.

5. Don’t Claim the Blame

Many drivers are tempted to apologize after a car accident. However, it’s critically important not to do this. Saying “sorry” can be construed as admitting fault in a court of law.

6. Speak to a Lawyer Before You Call the Insurance Company

Before you file a claim with your insurance company, search for “car accident lawyers near me” or contact your existing car accident lawyer.

Insurance agents might seem friendly on the phone, but they’re not your friends. Even something as benign as “I’m sure my injuries will heal quickly” might hurt your claim.

If you do speak with insurance on your own, keep things as brief as possible. However, if you have a lawyer, it’s usually best to allow the lawyer to talk to the insurance company instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Shouldn’t You Say After a Rhode Island Car Crash?

After a crash, don’t say anything that implies you’re at fault (like “I’m sorry”) or anything that minimizes your injuries (like “I’m okay”).

When Do I Call an Attorney After a Car Accident?

You should always call 911 after an accident. After that, call an attorney before speaking to your insurance company.

What Do You Document After a Car Accident?

Getting photos of the accident scene as a whole, damage to both vehicles, and any injuries you have is important. So is getting contact information, driver’s license information, and insurance information from the other drivers. You’ll also want contact information for any witnesses. The more you document, the better!

After a Rhode Island Car Crash, You Need Someone in Your Corner

In the case of severe car accidents, the steps you take on the day of the accident are just the beginning. And if you’re unfortunate enough to have been seriously injured, it’s hard to focus on anything but healing.

Insurance agents don’t have your best interests at heart. But at Sands Law Office, we do. Our entire practice is focused on personal injury law, and we fight to get our clients the compensation they deserve. Get in touch for your free consultation today!


Recover more compensation. Save time. Worry less. Leave it to the experts at Sands Law to help you. It’s what we’re here for.

Was the first time I ever had to seek legal representation after a car accident that I was injured in. Rich was recommended to me through a family member, and I am so glad that I decided to be represented by Rich.”
Nicole, Rhode Island
Rich was supportive and helpful throughout a very difficult time for me. I recently got into a car accident where I was injured and my car was declared totaled. In complete panic not knowing what to do, I called Rich.”
Karissa, Rhode Island
Rich was a wealth of knowledge and support during a difficult time. He always made time to explain procedures and answer all questions in a timely manner.”
Mark M., Rhode Island
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