There’s no silver lining to being involved in a car accident. Even the smallest of fender benders is an annoyance most people would rather live without, but the reality is that collisions do happen. There were 6,756,000 police-reported accidents in 2019 alone.
Given those numbers, most people will find themselves in one or more car crashes at some point in their lives. When this unfortunate but nearly inevitable incident takes places, drivers are expected to behave with a certain etiquette. Here’s what do and why it matters after getting into a car accident.
Check for Injuries
First, you need to assess yourself and any passengers that were in your vehicle. Make sure everyone is conscious and breathing, then check for injuries. From there, you’ll want to see if those in other vehicles are okay.
While this is simply the right thing to do, it’s also an important step to take to help point first responders in the right direction when they arrive. Even just shaving off a few seconds of someone getting the medical attention they need can save a life.
Contacting Law Enforcement
Of course, first responders can’t arrive at the scene if no one calls them. Police will investigate the scene while gathering information about the drivers and passengers, which is critical if you need to go to court.
You shouldn’t rely on their investigation alone, however. A skilled attorney can conduct a more thorough investigation of the scene, especially one with plenty of experience like lawyer Daniel H Rose. Their findings are often key pieces of information when proving a claim in court.
Moving Vehicles and Hazard Lights
If you can, and provided law enforcement allows, you should move your vehicle away from traffic to avoid any further accidents. If this isn’t possible, then hazard lights can let other drivers know to slow down and watch out for obstacles. These lights act as critical safety tools until first responders arrive.
You could let the other driver get your info from the police report, but the polite thing to do is exchange information at the scene. This makes the insurance claim process easier on all parties involved. Plus, who would want to cause more of a headache in an already miserable situation?
Never Assign or Admit Fault
You might be asked several questions by law enforcement or need to make a statement. In either scenario, never admit fault for the accident or blame anyone else. You can let lawyers and police figure that out for themselves.
Even if you do think the accident was your fault, you might find that there were pieces of information you were unaware of at the time that led to the collision. Those tidbits could be enough to prove you are not responsible, but they won’t matter much if you’ve made an admission of guilt.
If it’s safe enough to do so, take pictures of any damage to your vehicle as well as any injuries you or your passengers have sustained. Documenting both now will help your file your case later and also helps with your insurance claim. The more thorough your are, the better.