A car accident can leave even the most level-headed person feeling overwhelmed and confused. Further, this stressful event raises a lot of questions at once. Should I move my car? Should I call the police? When and will I ever make a claim? When should I call my lawyer?
When car accidents happen, emotions may be high and cause severe injuries. However, one must remain calm and do crucial things at the scene of the accident.
What Should You Do Legally After A Car Accident?
If it is obvious that you were at fault for the accident, it does not mean the end of your world. However, it can lead to excessive costs, hassle, and other troubles depending on the situation. Remember the steps below which you must do after getting caught in a accident:
Call authorities and report the accident
Always assess the situation first. Call the authorities and make a report of the accident. Wait patiently and never leave the scene.
- Do not leave the scene: You must never leave the scene of the accident until the authorities allow you to do so. If you do leave, and there is a pedestrian or other persons involved with injuries, or killed, you will face grave criminal penalties for committing a hit-and-run.
- Having authorities on the scene helps people stay calm and collected: Emotions may run high upon a vehicle accident. Calling the police over and having their presence as an impartial referee ensures that things will not get too complicated or heated
- Acquire a copy of the police report: Once the police are done filing their report, make sure to acquire a copy of it. That report can be helpful for your case, and your attorney will be needing it for further legal proceedings.
Check yourself and everyone for injuries
If you are seriously injured, do not move and patiently wait for law enforcements and emergency personnel. Meanwhile, if you are not too injured to move, check on other passengers with you.
- Call emergency services: If anyone is injured, call emergency services or ask a bystander to call for help if you are unable to call due to personal injuries.
- Get everyone to safety: If possible, move to the sidewalk or side of the road. If you are able to, drive your car to the side of the road if it can cause a hazard. Otherwise, just leave it where it is and get yourself and everyone to safety.
- Exchange information
After keeping everyone safe and making sure no one is seriously injured, exchange contact information with the other driver or a pedestrian involved. Gather the relevant information including:
- Full names
- Contact information
- Driver’s license and license plate number
- Insurance company and policy number
- Type, model, and color of the automobile
Moreover, be careful with what you say. Do not apologize at the scene because doing so means you admit to legal liability for what happened.
Preserve the scene and document the accident
It is important to document the scene to ensure your rights are protected.
- Take pictures: Take photographs of the accident thoroughly to document the scene. Include photos of the vehicle from different angles. Also, make sure to show the damages done to both vehicles and the vehicles’ license plates.
- Look for witnesses: If possible, try to check if there are witnesses. Record their personal information including names and contact numbers. Also, ask them if they are willing to make a statement.
Call a lawyer
If you, or anyone were injured in the accident, it is wise to consult an attorney who is experienced with vehicle accidents. He/she can help defend you if you are at fault. Once you are in touch with your auto accident lawyer, provide him/her all the necessary information and details of the car accident and be honest him or her. Also provide your lawyer with the other parties’ names, contact details, and police report. Click here to contact someone who can be of assistance.
Sabrina Wright is a vibrant young law writer currently writing her next big project. Her modern outlook on the law field is reflected on her informative pieces. Sabrina loves cooking and often invites her friends over for barbecue.