What Should I Do If I’m Involved In A Traffic Accident?
Being in a car accident can be a frightening experience. Whether it’s a minor incident that results in little to no damage to your vehicle or an accident that results in significant damage and injuries to one or more people involved, there are a few things that you want to keep in mind after the accident occurs.
Don’t leave the scene of the accident. This can result in more tickets or charges, especially if the accident is your fault. Remain on the scene until police officers or emergency officials arrive so that you can give a statement of what happened and so that you can get medical treatment if you are injured. If possible, move to the side of the road. This can help to prevent other accidents at the scene. You should also put a cloth on the window or a flare behind or in front of the vehicle to alert other drivers to slow down in the area. Turn your hazard lights on, especially if the accident occurs at night.
If someone hasn’t already contacted the police, then you need to call 911 to report the accident. An officer can write a report that you can give to your insurance company or an attorney if you plan to file a claim against the other driver. You can also keep the report in case the other person involved tries to say that the accident happened in a different manner than was reported. Only give the officer the facts that you know or remember. Don’t try to make up facts so that you don’t get in trouble or make up facts that aren’t true. It’s best to tell the officer that you aren’t sure what happened instead of lying about the accident. Sometimes, an injury can result in a short-term loss of memory, which can cause you to forget some of the details that happened. If the accident happened because of a medical emergency, then you might have blacked out for a short time, preventing you from knowing what happened when you hit the other vehicle or the piece of property.
Take as many pictures of the accident scene as possible. You should take pictures of the scene right after the accident instead of waiting until the vehicles are moved. Take pictures of the people involved so that you have some kind of proof of injuries, especially if you or someone in your vehicle was injured. After the police officer has written a report, you can exchange information with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. You don’t need to exchange a lot of information because all you really need is insurance policy information, names and a phone number. You can also get the information from the police officer if you don’t want to approach the other driver or if you are physically unable to approach the other driver.
After leaving the accident scene and as soon as you are capable, call your insurance company to make a report of the accident. You should also contact the other person’s insurance company because you can usually get some kind of compensation for being in the accident if it wasn’t your fault. On the other hand, you want to make sure your insurance information is current so that any medical coverage or other compensation can be given to the other driver. It’s a good idea to go to the emergency room after a car accident even if you don’t think you’re injured. Keep all of the documents you receive to give to an attorney or to turn into the insurance company.