Accidents happen, and even as the most careful driver, you too can be involved. Because car accidents aren’t all that common — one in 645 to be exact — if one does occur, it ’s easy to forget the checklist of what you should and shouldn’t do at the scene, since driver’s education may have been quite a while ago!
Steve Ray is a car accident attorney in the Fort Collins area who values the individual and wants to help you heal from the trauma of a car accident by seeking justice and providing advocacy for those who need it. Join us in today’s post as we brush up on what you need to do if you’re involved in a car accident.
Remember These Things if You’re Involved in a Car Accident
It’s always a good idea to brush up on what to do at the scene of an accident because it can impact a court case, should there ever be one.
Here are the steps to go through if you find yourself in a car accident that will help keep things composed and better simplify the claims process.
Don’t leave the scene of a car accident.
Once you are involved in the car accident, stay on site even if the other driver assures you it’s fine if you leave. This scenario becomes problematic if you leave the scene and the other driver later reports injuries or it could become a hit and run case.
Take a deep breath and remain calm.
Whether you were at fault or the other driver was, it’s easy to panic or become paralyzed. Emotions are high and your stress response may be going wild, but it’s important to come back and center yourself so you can deal the issue at hand.
The other vehicle involved may be very upset and are just the opposite of being composed, and if they’re losing it, let them — focus on yourself.
Check for injuries.
Assuming this accident is a fender bender and not life-threatening, check for injuries on yourself. Many times bruises and concussions don’t manifest for hours later, so keep this in mind.
Exchange information with the driver.
The most relevant information you’ll need is the following:
- Make, model, and color of the vehicle
- License plate number
- Drivers license information
- Insurance information
- Names and addresses of any witnesses on the scene
Take any additional notes about what you hear, things such as the driver is different from the vehicle owner or if drugs or alcohol are mentioned.
Use your phone to document everything. Take pictures of your car and the other car involved, any injuries — you can never have too many pictures.
Call the police.
Once you’ve had a chance to assess your injuries, call the police regardless of how minor the accident was. If you have injuries, notify them so they can call for medical assistance.
Never place blame on yourself or the other person involved.
If you believe you are at fault, never state this out loud. Only give your account of the accident to the police officer.
Never move an injured person.
Always avoid moving other people — only do so if they’re in immediate or life-threatening danger.
Once the officer has arrived and things have been taken care of, inquire about where you can get a copy of the police report.
If you hit an unattended vehicle (parked car) or an object, always try and locate the owner. If you’re unable, leave a note with your contact information and document what you can with pictures and notes of what happened.
Because car accidents are rarer than not, it is easy to forget what you’re supposed to do when you’re involved in one.
Remember to take the following actions if you find yourself involved in one, including:
- Stay at the scene
- Take a deep breath and remain calm
- Check for injuries
- Exchange information with the driver
- Take photos
- Call the police
- Never place blame on yourself or the other person involved
- Never move an injured person