A state with open spaces has a lot of roads, and roads lead to car accidents. What exactly should you do if you are in a car accident?
The first thing you should do after an accident is get medical assistance, either for yourself if necessary or for anyone who was injured in the accident, either in another car or a pedestrian.
Call the police
Once everyone’s medical needs have been tended to, the next thing you should do is report the accident to police.
You don’t need to report every accident. You only need to report accidents in which:
- Someone was killed or injured
- There was more than $1,000 in property damage for any one person
- There was more than $2,000 in property damage
- You were in an accident with an unattended vehicle and the owner can’t be found
This means that if you are in a fender-bender in a parking lot and the damage is minor, you don’t need to call police.
No matter how severe the accident, exchange contact and insurance information with all parties involved.
If you can, move your vehicle out of the way of other cars so they can get through. If you have warning signals or road flares, carefully use them.
You should also gather as much information as possible about the accident while it is still fresh in your mind. Get:
- Driver and passenger names, insurance information and license information
- License plate numbers for all cars involved
- Make, model and year of all cars involved
- Contact information from all witnesses
- The time of day, sunlight and weather conditions as well as road conditions and any skid marks near the accident
- Names and badge numbers of police who arrive at the scene
If your phone has a camera, take lots of photos of anything that may be of use to police or your insurance agent.
Don’t sign anything unless it’s from the police or your insurance agent.
Don’t tell anyone the accident was your fault.
Being in an accident can be a traumatic experience, but if you take things one step at a time and consult with a qualified, experienced attorney after the accident, you should be fine.