What Should I Do at the Scene of an Accident in Which I Am Involved?
You’re driving your car to work, home, or anywhere else when someone hits you. Either they weren’t paying attention to the road or they were disobeying the law and were unable to stop before they hit you. Now you’re sitting in your car unsure what to do next. Do you get out of the car? Do you stay with it? Do you move it? Do you talk to the other driver? You probably have no idea what to do next, but we can help you make the right decisions following your accident. Remember that many accidents are minor and the law in many states is to remove accident vehicles from the middle of the road if they are minor. Before you do anything, pay attention to this list.
Call the Police
Before you do anything else, call 911. You must report the accident. For one, you need to be sure the other driver is going to be cited for the accident. Secondly, you want a police report. If it turns out you are suffering from any injuries, a police report works wonders helping to determine fault so you win the case against the other driver. Call the police, and then wait for them at the scene following their instructions carefully.
Before you move your car, take photos. You want as many as you can get, and you want them of every angle. No picture is wrong, but get as many as you can. This is especially important if the other driver is wanting to move his or her car off the road, or if the police asked you to move a minimally damaged care out of the road. You want photos of the accident as it happened in case the other drive or his or her insurance company decide to cause issues when you file a complaint or suit.
Provide the Correct Information
You’re going to need to present specific information when you are involved in an accident. You want your driver’s license, your insurance card, and you might want your health insurance card if you think you are injured. Gather this information for the police before they arrive. The more you have prepared, the less time it will take for them to get your information and complete your police report.
Say Nothing Incriminating
One of the biggest mistakes accident victims make is saying anything to the at-fault driver. Go ahead and ask them if they’re all right or need any assistance, but say nothing about the accident. Even if you say something as minor as you didn’t see them coming, you could cause yourself more issues. The other driver could repeat this and tell the police you weren’t paying attention to the road, or they could make up a story about how you were on the phone or texting because you said you weren’t paying attention. Say nothing. It’s the best thing you can do.
You are required to call your insurance company even if you’re not the one who caused the accident. They need to know you were involved, because they might need to go to work for you. Drivers in no-fault states are required to use their own insurance agency, and your uninsured motorist coverage might come in handy if you later find out the other driver is uninsured or let their policy lapse. Call and report the accident so your company can prepare for what comes next.
Seek Medical Treatment
Don’t forgo medical treatment. Even if you aren’t bleeding or seem just fine, see the doctor. You could have any number of injuries you can’t see, and seeking treatment now allows you to prevent them from becoming any worse.