Most people know that contacting a personal injury attorney such as Adam Kutner of Las Vegas is an important step toward protecting their rights following a serious accident. It’s also critical to know what to do and what not to do at the scene of an accident.
Most motor vehicle accidents happen suddenly, and usually without warning. It is easy to become disoriented and panic, either because of the violence associated with the crash or because you are injured. Stay calm, turn off your vehicle’s engine and activate the emergency flashers. If it is safe to do so, and your injuries do not prevent it, exit your vehicle in a manner that does not put you in further danger.
Move a Safe Distance from Your Vehicle
Unless your vehicle poses a danger to other vehicles, do not attempt to move it until the police arrive and tell you it is safe to do so. After exiting the vehicle, you should move away from the wreckage to the side of the road where you are safely out of the path of other moving vehicles. If there is a guardrail, stand so the guardrail is between you and the roadway.
Call for Assistance
Once you are safely away from the vehicle, call the police. It is important that you give the police dispatcher detailed information about your location, such as cross streets or highway mile markers. If you or anyone else has been injured in the accident, give the police dispatcher a description of the injured person’s condition. Unless there is an immediate threat of further injury, do not attempt to move an injured accident victim. Doing so could cause additional injuries or worsen the injuries the person has already suffered. Wait for emergency personnel to arrive who can handle the situation.
Once it is safe to do so, use a pen and paper to record the following information to give to your insurance company and attorney:
• The date, time and precise location of the accident
• The names, telephone numbers and addresses of each of the drivers and vehicle owners and their insurance information
• The color, body type, make, model and license plate number of each vehicle
• A rough diagram that you’ve drawn of the accident, including the direction of travel of each vehicle and the points of impact
• The names of police agencies and emergency services agencies responding to the scene
• The names, addresses and telephone numbers of any eyewitnesses
Do Not Admit Liability or Minimize Your Physical Condition
An accident scene is neither the time nor the place to make a decision about who was at fault. Do not admit liability or make any statements indicating that you might have been at fault. If you were injured, do not engage in self-assessment. Let the police or emergency services personnel at the scene determine if you are in need of medical treatment. You might feel fine, but you are not trained to diagnose a concussion or determine if you are in shock.
Report the Accident
A personal injury attorney such as Adam Kutner can advise you about the rules in your state concerning the need to file a written report of the accident with the state department of motor vehicles.