Why Should You Report a Car Accident Before Leaving the Scene of the Collision?
If you were – or ever are – involved in a car accident, there are certain steps you should take before leaving the scene of the collision including reporting the wreck. Most people don’t know what they need to do – and not do – when they are involved in a motor vehicle accident to preserve their rights and protect themselves. If you or anyone else were hurt, taking these steps can put you in the best possible position afterward in case of legal liability:
#1 Immediately Call 911 This is important whether or not there were obvious injuries. Always report a car accident when it happens. Tell the police there’s been a wreck and if you or your passengers were injured, ask for an ambulance as a precautionary step.
#2 Identify Eye Witnesses If there are any witnesses to the accident, you should try to get contact information to gather witness statements later. If you are seriously injured and unable to do this, try to get your passenger, law enforcement person or other bystander to help.
#3 Collect Insurance Information You should gather (or ask someone to help you gather) insurance information from the other driver(s) including name, address, insurance company name and policy number, tag number of the car and driver’s license number of other driver if possible.
#4 Get Contact Information for Police After an accident, people are typically in shock. There may be things that seem clear at the time that you will forget later. Ask for contact information from the police. Officers on the scene to make it easier to get the police report and to follow up with them as needed.
#5 Take Photos or Videos Before the vehicles involved in the motor vehicle accident are moved, take photos with your phone or other camera. If you can’t do it because of your injuries, ask a passenger or bystander to help. If your phone records video, that can be helpful additional evidence.
#6 Don’t Admit Guilt or Implicate Yourself Do not admit blame to the police or anyone at the scene. The police will examine evidence and assess blame. Do not answer more than basic questions. Do not implicate yourself as sharing blame either. This can haunt you later.
#7 Accept Medical Help If you’re advised by EMTs at the scene – or it’s obvious that you need medical care for your injuries, accept it immediately. If you are injured and decline or delay medical treatment, you can be blamed for worsening or even causing your injuries. This is very important.
These steps are all important in protecting your rights to compensation for your injuries suffered in a car accident, but step one is the most critical. Calling 911 and making a report before leaving the scene of a collision also protects you from criminal charges. Whenever there is bodily injury done to a person or property damage to a vehicle in a wreck, notifying the police is mandatory and you can face criminal charges for not doing so!
Average drivers have a wreck once every 18 years – that comes out to 3-4 accidents in your lifetime. The more driving you do, the more likely you’ll be involved in a motor vehicle accident. Because the odds are high that you’ll be involved in a car accident at some point, remembering this advice when the inevitable happens can help insure you receive a fair settlement for your injuries.
After an Accident…
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, your first call should be 911. After that, a call to an experienced local personal injury attorney should be your next. Attorney Rob Kornfeld understands your situation – he was seriously injured in a car accident years ago that left him with scars, years of pain and needing several surgeries and physical therapy to recover.
Because he’s been where you are, Rob will take on the insurance companies and aggressively fight for a fair settlement for your injuries. For more than 30 years, Rob has been advocating for clients injured in motor vehicle accidents. Rob knows how to get you the compensation you deserve and will work hard to help you.
ob will take on the insurance companies and aggressively fight for a fair settlement for your injuries. For more than 30 years, Rob has been advocating for clients injured in motor vehicle accidents. Rob knows how to get you the compensation you deserve and will work hard to help you.