Car accidents are frightful, and it’s even worse if you are the driver that caused it. Learn more about what to do if you cause an accident by reading this blog post.
1. Do not drive away.
The first thing you must do after a car crash is to avoid fleeing from the scene of the accident. Do not drive away, or you could be charged with hit-and-run, which is an extremely serious crime. You need to stop and properly identify yourself to the other driver or the police.
2. Assess the condition of everyone involved in the accident.
If you can, check the condition of everyone involved in the accident—you, your passengers, the other driver, and their passengers. If you or anyone else is injured, call 911 or ask help from people around the area.
You will also need to protect the scene from further accidents, such as getting hit from approaching traffic. Turn on your hazard lights, set up flares, or use your flashlight. Maintain visibility while you’re waiting for the paramedics or the authorities to arrive.
3. Get medical attention
Even if you think that your injuries are only minor, you must seek medical care immediately. Some injuries aren’t often evident after an accident and could only show up later on. It’s important to get these injuries treated right away. Additionally, failing to get proper medical treatment can negatively affect your insurance claim.
4. Call the police.
Even if you caused the accident and you want to protect your interests, you will need to call the police. You may need to file a police report to document the extent of your injuries and the damage to the vehicles. This will also be useful for you when filing an insurance claim.
Make sure that you give the police the exact account of what happened, but never admit fault for the accident, including to the insurance company. Consult with a personal injury lawyer first (which you must do later on) before making any admissions.
5. Document the scene of the accident.
Even if you have already filed a police report, it’s wise to have your own documentation of the accident scene. Secure your dash cam’s footage and take photos of your injuries, the vehicles, and the damages. If there are witnesses, you can also obtain information from them.
6. Exchange information with the other party
Give your insurance information to the other party, and be sure to ask for theirs as well. Even if you caused the accident, you might need to file an insurance claim if it is found that the other party was at fault too. Again, do not make a statement to the insurance company until you have consulted a lawyer. There is no law that requires you to make a recorded statement to an insurance company, so you can decline their request.
7. Call a personal injury attorney.
If you have caused a car accident, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney with an expertise in handling vehicular accidents can protect your rights. He/she will provide sound legal advice on what you should do and what statements to make.
Our personal injury attorneys can help you if you ever get involved in an accident. Call us at 801-INJURED (865-8733) or fill out this form. We’d be happy to discuss your situation and legal options.