Being in a car accident is something that we hope will never happen to us, and fingers crossed it never will. But these things do happen, and would you know what to do if it did? There are some steps you have to take straight away after a car crash to prevent a dangerous situation escalating quickly.
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The first thing you must do if you have been in any sort of accident is stop. Even if you think it’s relatively minor, it doesn’t matter. Failing to stop is a punishable offence, and you could be prosecuted. You don’t want end up on the wrong side of the law. Ensure you’ve switched your engine off and switch on your hazard lights to make sure other road users are alerted to your presence.
Make a quick assessment of the situation. If anyone has sustained any injuries, then you should phone the police and an ambulance if it’s needed, as soon as you can. You’ll also need to call the police if the damage looks like it exceeds $1000 worth. If the other driver seems like they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or were speeding? Then call 911 and follow the instructions that the emergency operator will give you.
If anyone is injured, do not try and move them. You could make their injuries worse and cause them further damage. If there are no casualties and the total sum of damage between all the vehicles involved is worth less than $1000? Then you can call your local law enforcers for further instruction. If they decide not to attend the scene of the accident, you’ll usually be told to report it officially within 24 hours.
If you don’t complete the Driver’s Motor Vehicle Accident Report, then you’re breaking the law. You could even have your license revoked, so always make sure you do the right thing. You may not be able to claim on your auto insurance, and you can forget about consulting a Personal Injury Attorney if you’ve been hurt. Without documentation, you’ve got no chance at all.
So what information do you need? Make sure you’re in a safe place, you’re going to have to take some details down. It doesn’t matter who is a fault, if you have an accident, then you should exchange the following info:
Names, addresses and Phone numbers of All Parties
License Plate Registration of all vehicles
Driver License Number
Car Insurance details
Vehicle makes, model and year.
If you can’t get details because the other owner isn’t around (for example) if you’ve collided with a parked car? Then leave your details clearly where the owner will be able to see quickly. Remember you can still take down details like the license plate number and description of the vehicle. Don’t forget to report it. If your note somehow goes astray, you’ll be traceable. This means you can’t be charged with a hit and run misdemeanor, so it pays to cover yourself