Finding yourself involved in an auto accident can be frightening and overwhelming, and taking action at the scene is often easier said than done. Many victims are injured and in pain, and many are in a state of shock, which makes it tricky to think straight.
While it can be difficult, knowing precisely what to do if you are involved at the scene of an incident can be extremely helpful, and can make sure that you get the support and justice you deserve down the line. We are ready to provide you with Salt Lake City Personal Injury Attorney help.
Do I Need to Call 911?
The first thing you should do if you are involved in an accident is to pull up somewhere safe and call 911. You will need to give the dispatcher details of the location of the crash, including road names, GPS coordinates, significant landmarks, or mile markers.
Emergency services will also need to know if anyone on the scene appears to be injured, whether there are any hazards or dangerous objects at the scene, such as an overturned car, a broken power line, a trapped passenger, or any fuel leakages.
What Do I Do if Someone is Injured?
Calling 911 is essential to ensure safety, but it is also a legal requirement to notify police if an accident results in death, injury, or property damage. Once this is taken care of, you will also have an obligation to provide “reasonable assistance” to injured parties following the accident – this can include helping them if you can or arranging for medical treatment. In most cases, calling 911 will fulfill this requirement, and you will not be expected to take any further action.
Any drivers involved are also required to provide details including name, address, proof of insurance, and car registration to anyone involved in the crash unless that information has already been made available to the police officer at the scene.
If you are the injured party, you should always seek medical treatment at the scene, and be honest about any pains or symptoms; remember that shock can mask the symptoms of many injuries. If experts at the scene recommend a trip to the hospital, you should comply, or else ensure that you see a medical provider as soon as possible.
Any refusal to accept medical treatment, or attempts to delay treatment, can undermine your insurance claim, which will be based on the argument that your injuries were caused as a direct result of the crash.
What if There is Damage to Property?
As we mentioned, calling the police if a car accident has resulted in damage to property is vital. In some cases, you may collide with property outside a typical accident scenario – this could include parked cars, street signs, buildings, or utilities. Your first responsibility is to make every effort to locate whoever is in charge of the property and make sure you leave your details – name, address, and registration number. If the property owner cannot be traced, leave a note with these details.