As an auto accident lawyer from a firm like Jeff Murphy Law can explain, even a minor car accident can be a terrifying experience, and it can leave you and other drivers unsure of what to do. Accident attorneys recommend following these five steps immediately after you get into a car accident.
1. Don’t Drive Away
Remain on the scene, even if the accident was a minor one and you know for a fact you weren’t at fault. In fact, running away from an accident in which you were involved is a crime. If you witness another involved driver fleeing from the scene, write down the license plate information and remain behind to report to the police.
2. Make Sure Everyone is Okay
Check yourself, your passengers, and the other driver for injuries. If you or anyone else is severely injured, don’t try to move. Wait for medical professionals to arrive and help you.
3. Move Out of Traffic
If you can safely move your car out of traffic, do so. If your car is no longer driveable, move to the side of the road or the sidewalk.
4. Call 911
Having the police at the scene of the accident is imperative, no matter the severity of the accident. In many states, you are required by law to have police present and could face charges for failing to call them. An ambulance may also be necessary. Although everyone involved may appear to be uninjured, many crash injuries aren’t detectable until a few days after the accident. It is important that everyone has prompt medical attention.
5. Make the Scene Safe
Ensure that the crash scene is safe from oncoming traffic. Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights. If your emergency kit has road flares, set them up around the wreckage.
6. Get Information
While you wait for the police, get the license plate number, name, and phone number of all other drivers involved. Keep this information in a file in a safe place. It may serve you well later when you report the accident to your insurance agency and lawyer.
7. Get Legal Advice
It’s paramount that you make sure your rights are protected. Consult your accident lawyer for advice. A good lawyer can help you receive compensation for injuries and damages, and advise you on what information you should give to your insurance company.
An automobile accident can be a terrifying experience. Even if you aren’t injured and your car hasn’t taken much damage, it can be hard to know what to do. Following these steps, and most importantly relying your car accident lawyer’s advice, can help resolve the problem.