1. Stay at the scene of the accident. Do not leave the scene of the accident unless your injuries require immediate medical treatment and staying at the scene would put your health in jeopardy. You are legally required to stop at the scene of an accident. If you fail to stop, you can be charged with a crime, usually a misdemeanor but in some cases it can be a felony. Also, assuming you are not blocking traffic, leave your vehicles in the same place they came to rest after the accident. It will make it much easier for the police officer to reconstruct the facts of the accident.
2. Call the Police. The responding officer can help you obtain information and sometimes will take pictures of the accident scene. While sometimes you may think the accident isn’t severe enough to warrant police involvement, you may run into problems later with an insurance company paying for damage or other bills if there wasn’t an accident report filed. Get the accident report, it can’t hurt.
3. Get the other driver’s information. This includes not only insurance information but the registration and driver’s license information as well. The person driving the car may not be the owner of the car. If you have the registration information it will make it much easier to find the insurance carrier and policy covering the vehicle. The driver’s license information is necessary to identify the driver of the vehicle. This may sound obvious, but you may be surprised how many people will deny they were driving the vehicle months later.
4. Take Photos if possible. With the advent of smart phones, nearly everyone has ready access to a camera these days. If you are in a car accident and have your cell phone or digital camera handy, take a few photos of the damage to the vehicle and the accident scene if you are physically able to do so.
5. Get treatment for your injuries. If immediately after the accident you feel pain or that you may be injured, stay in your vehicle until medical personnel arrive. Better to stay still than possibly make things worse by attempting to get out of the vehicle. Of course, if circumstances such as a potential fire or other situation require you to do so, then you need to get out of the car. Use your common sense in this situation, and always play it safe.
If you have been involved in a car accident and would like to speak with an attorney about your situation, call the Kerr Law Firm. Our main office is in Hilton Head, South Carolina and we represent injured persons in South Carolina and Georgia.