When you’ve been in or caused an accident, you’re probably not thinking clearly, and you’re scared. It’s ok, just stay calm.
If you are still moving, come to a complete stop in a safe place away from traffic, people and danger.
It does not matter whether it involves a vehicle (still or moving), someone on foot, or someone’s property, you are required by law to stop. The law states that if you leave the scene of an accident, you can be liable for charges of hit and run. It doesn’t even have to be your fault! What if you have run into a parked car at the mall? The law expects you to attempt to find that car’s owner. Once you have tried and failed, THEN you are allowed to leave only after you have left your name, address, insurance info along with an explanation of the accident. Of course, the police should be notified at once.
How can you find help?
Immediately call 911. Tell them the situation and where you are. Be sure and tell them if an ambulance or fire truck is needed. Most everyone has a cell phone, but if you do not, then flag down another motorist or bystander. Of course all accidents do not happen on busy local streets. Some happen out in the middle of nowhere, usually after dark, where cell phone use could be scarce. If this happens to you, try to get to the nearest place of business or nearby residence to call police.
I am here at the accident scene – now what?
There are some questions that you need to ask; some important information that needs to be exchanged.
Whose fault was it?
Do not let your emotions take over. Tell the police what is relevant and stay focused. Listen to what the other driver is saying to the police. Make notes if you have to. The police have the final decision as who is at fault.
Be prepared – you may get a ticket.
Do not argue with the authorities. Just sign the ticket. Then appear in court and state your case. If you refuse to sign it, you are asking for trouble – you could go to jail. You have hired a great attorney – use those services. It is best to consult him/her before pleading guilty on the scene or in court.
A few more things you will need to do:
Lastly, it is always stressful when you have an accident or one of your loved ones is in a vehicle crash. Keep a level head and stay calm. Help is on the way!
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