No one plans on being involved in a road traffic accident, but they are common enough occurrences that you need to know what to do if the worst happens. If you are involved in any kind of road traffic accident, here’s what you need to do.
Before we get onto the list, however, if you believe that the accident was someone else’s fault, you should contact an attorney. There are attorneys like this 18 wheeler collision lawyer who specialize in specific types of auto accident or particular vehicles. Make sure to research your options beforehand.
Make Sure You Stop
You should never leave the scene of an accident, even a minor one. Failing to stop is a felony in many states, especially if the accident is a serious one. You will need to ensure that you stop and speak to anyone else involved in the accident. If the accident only involves your vehicle or there are no injuries, you don’t have to worry about the legal requirement to report an accident.
Assess the Situation
Before you get out of your car or approach the other driver, make sure to assess the situation and ensure that everything is safe. When in a state of shock, many drivers forget that there are other road users and that, especially if the accident occurs in a blind spot, they might collide with your vehicle or the other one involved in the crash.
Drivers who aren’t expecting an accident to be waiting for them around a bend won’t take any action until they see what’s going on. In some cases, it will be safer for all those involved to wait away from their vehicles, preferably somewhere where you can warn other road users of the potential dangers ahead.
If anyone has been injured in the collision or you plan on filing an insurance claim or police report, it is very important that you have evidence to rely upon when making claims. You should try and capture video and photographs of the scene.
Call the Police
If anyone has been injured in an auto accident, even if it’s only minor damage, you must by law inform the DMV of the incident. Some states also have laws on the books that mandate what you should and shouldn’t do after an accident, so make sure that you check the laws in your jurisdiction.
When the officer arrives, make sure that you stick to the facts and don’t speculate or guess at any information that you don’t know. You should never lie to minimize your involvement.
If the police attend, they will ensure that they gather the details of all parties involved. In cases where the police don’t respond, it is important that you make sure to get all the information yourself.
In addition to the above, always be considerate of any injuries that you or other passengers might have sustained. Never move someone who is injured or might have broken bones unless it is absolutely necessary to do so.