Being involved in an auto crash is scary, to say the least. Sorting out the details afterward can add to the stress and confusion. If you are involved in a car accident, here are some important steps to keep in mind.
Call 9-1-1 and request a police officer’s assistance in reporting a road accident. The officer should be able to arrive in minutes and begin collecting information about the collision. Both drivers will be asked questions about their perspectives on the accident, and any bystanders or witnesses may be asked to give a statement for the crash report as well. The police report will state objective facts and observations, and it may include photos of the vehicles involved. This information will be important for legal purposes and insurance settlements for any damages that have occurred.
Anyone who has been injured in a car accident, including pedestrians and property owners if the car went off the road, should be medically evaluated at a local hospital’s emergency department. Tests and treatments or further follow-up will be provided as needed. A medical evaluation and diagnosis will be filed as a department report, which may be needed for possible future compensation to be determined from the accident.
In addition to potential witness statements collected at the scene of the accident, witnesses who can testify about the condition of someone involved in the accident or the vehicle’s operational ability may be asked to give a written statement to law enforcement officials. Later, those involved in the accident may also be advised by legal counsel to obtain witness statements from those who may have observed them shortly before, during, or after the accident. For example, if someone appeared to be under the influence of alcohol in a bar shortly before driving the vehicle that got into an accident minutes later, that information would be helpful in evaluating the persons or events responsible for the accident.
You will want to contact a car accident attorney to learn more about your rights and responsibilities as someone involved in a car accident. The attorney can explain the legal process of requesting a settlement from the other driver and getting personal costs covered, such as vehicle repairs, medical bills, and lost wages.
Car accidents should be processed thoroughly to ensure the resulting damages are paid by the responsible person. Follow the steps outlined above to help bring relevant information to light.
Author information: Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family, and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.