Even the most cautious individuals will more than likely experience a car accident at some point in their life. No matter how minor the accident may be, you need to know what to do if you find yourself in this situation.
1) Stop the vehicle:
When you are in an accident, stop your vehicle right away. If you are responsible for causing the accident, running or fleeing from the scene is a crime. You need to acknowledge and take responsibility for the error that you have made. If you have been hit by another individual, you need to stop, as well. There is the possibility that you may also get in trouble if you are the victim of an accident and leave the scene. Whether you are the victim of a traffic accident (or you caused it), stop and remain at the scene of the accident.
2) Check for Injuries:
Damage to your vehicle needs to be of secondary concern to the health and safety of yourself and the other individuals in your vehicle. Immediately check the other individuals in your vehicle and you for injuries. Call 911 if medical attention is needed for any of the affected parties.
3) If Necessary Call the Police:
In serious traffic accidents or in hit and run situations, authorities will need to be notified. Police may also be necessary at an accident site if your vehicle happens to cause traffic to back up or results in debris in the roadway. Minor incidents, such as fender benders, police may not be required. However, most insurance companies require policyholders to call the authorities if they want their damages to be covered.
4) Exchange Contact Information:
From a minor accident to a severe collision, you need to exchange contact information with the involved parties. Record the name, address, phone number, license plate number, and the driver’s license number of all of the individuals involved in the accident. This information will be utilized by your insurance provider to resolve the incident.
5) Document the Damage:
If you have a camera or cellphone that can take pictures, record the damage. If a camera is not available, write down a detailed description of the damage. This documentation should include information on your vehicle and the other vehicle(s) involved. Have all involved parties in the accident sign the documentation as proof that parties agree to the damages that occurred to both vehicles. If you hit another vehicle where the owner of that vehicle is not present, leave a note with your contact information. An example of this may be if you hit a parked car. If a note is not left, this could be considered a hit and run.
6) Contact Your Insurance Provider:
The final step is to contact your insurance provider to report detailed information about the incident. Failing to do so may result in a suspended license.
This guest blog was written by Michael R. Casper, P.C. Attorney at Law, a personal injury attorney in Gainesville, GA. He has been serving Georgia for more than 30 years. Michael R. Casper is also a dedicated workers compensation attorney in Gainesville, Georgia.