WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE IN A CAR ACCIDENT?

Our Rhode Island Car Accident Recovery Manual is a handy checklist of actions you should take if you have been in a crash. We urge you to review it and screenshot it on your phone to have it as a reference.

A serious car accident can turn your world upside down in the blink of an eye. An injury can put you or a loved one who was in the vehicle in the hospital and out of work as medical bills and other losses mount. There are steps you can take to protect your rights. For more information and personal assistance with the aftermath of a car accident in Rhode Island, contact the team of top Rhode Island car accident lawyers at Marasco & Nesselbush online or by phone for a free consultation.

RHODE ISLAND CAR ACCIDENT RECOVERY MANUAL

  • Vehicle registration
  • Insurance Card
  • Emergency contact numbers
  • Jumper cables
  • Spare tire, jack, lug wrench
  • Multi-tool or tool kit
  • Cell phone charger
  • Bottled water
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Blankets / sleeping bags (for winter driving)

Do I have a case?

If you think you may have a car accident case, contact us now for a FREE consultation

WHAT TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT CHECKLIST

Can You ID a Hit-and-Run Driver?

If the person who hit you flees the scene before police arrive, try to get the license plate number. Otherwise, try to get:

  • The car’s make, model and color.
  • A description of the driver.
  • The direction the car left in, including street names. Security cameras may pick it up.

Write down information or make an audio recording with your phone. Don’t rely on memory

Immediate steps…

Care for people.
Calm yourself and check for injuries, then ask whether others are hurt.
Call 911.
Report your accident to police even if there are no injuries. Request an ambulance if needed.

Clear the roadway.

Report your accident to police even if there are no injuries. Request an ambulance if needed.

Stay put.

Do not leave the scene – you could be charged with hit and run. Turn on your hazard lights and stay in the car until help arrives.

AT THE ACCIDENT SCENE…

Get emergency care.

If EMTs or police advise you to go to the emergency room, get into the ambulance.

Gather driver and witness information.

Exchange information with the other drivers, including names, addresses, driver’s license numbers and insurance information. Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of everyone who saw the accident happen.

Document the scene.

Take photos or video of the positions of the cars and their damage. Photograph everything that helps tell the story of the accident:
-Debris or skid marks.
-Signs, trees or other damaged property.
-Hazardous conditions, like standing water, potholes, obstructed view.
-You and your passengers’ injuries.

Cooperate with police.

Be calm and business-like. Answer police officers’ questions honestly, but answer only what’s asked. Do not speculate about what caused the accident. Do not admit or accept blame for the accident.

Remove your car.

Once police have finished or otherwise instruct you, you may remove your car. You may need to contact a local towing service. If at all possible, do not leave your car at the accident scene.

HOME FROM THE ACCIDENT …

Call your insurance company.
File a claim, but do not provide a recorded statement. Follow instructions for obtaining car repair estimates.
Save accident documents

After you have decompressed, write down in your own words what happened. Create a file for all receipts, reports, photos and other records connected to the accident and your injuries. Save everything.

See a doctor
Even if you do not feel hurt, a doctor may find serious injuries that do not cause symptoms right away. A doctor’s exam also documents your injuries. Follow the doctor’s orders for treatment.

DAYS AFTER AN ACCIDENT …

Call a car accident lawyer.
A Rhode Island car accident lawyer can start helping you with a free consultation. Your attorney can investigate the accident and keep important evidence from being destroyed.
Be wary of quick settlements.
The insurance company may offer a check before all your costs are known. Do not accept or sign anything without a lawyer’s advice.
Get your car repaired.
If your insurer declares your car “totaled” and you disagree, discuss this with a lawyer. You can appeal the decision.
Keep up with costs.
If you rent a vehicle or take public transportation while your car is being repaired, you can seek repayment. Save receipts for all crash-related expenses.
Keep your accident to yourself.

Don’t discuss or boast about an anticipated lawsuit or settlement. Do not make posts on social media – they could jeopardize your claim.

WEEKS AFTER AN ACCIDENT …

Concentrate on recovery.

Recovering from your injuries counts most. Continue to follow doctor’s orders for all treatment and medication. If you have a Rhode Island personal injury attorney, let him or her worry about your accident claim.

GET A RHODE ISLAND POLICE REPORT

The police officer handling your accident should give you an accident report number before leaving. You will need this number to obtain the crash report. It requires a small fee, but you need to get a copy.
The fee may be recoverable. Get police reports online 48 hours after the accident at GetCrashReports.com. You may also send a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a $15 check or money order payable to “The State of Rhode Island” to:

Rhode Island State Police
Accident Bureau
311 Danielson Pike
North Scituate, RI 02857
In a mailed request, include the driver’s name, date of the accident and accident report number.

RHODE ISLAND CAR ACCIDENT RESOURCES

Law Enforcement

Rhode Island State Police911 (Emergency)401-444-1000
Providence Police Department401-421-7740
Pawtucket Police Department401-727-9100
Woonsocket Police Department401-766-1212
Warwick Police Department401-468-4200
Bristol Police Department401-253-6900
Newport Police Department401-847-1212
Narragansett Police Department401-789-1091
Westerly Police Department401-596-2022

Rental Cars

Alamo Rent a Car, Green Airport, Warwick888-826-6893
Avis Car Rental, Providence401-521-7900
Budget Car Rental, Green Airport, Warwick401-739-8986
Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Providence401-861-4408
Hertz, Westerly401-315-2921
Thrifty Car Rental, Green Airport, Warwick877-283-0898