Getting hit by a car can be annoying or traumatizing, depending on the severity of the accident. It’s important to know ahead of time what to do next. Here’s an overview of how to respond to auto accidents.
A collision can be utterly disorienting, but it’s important to move your car to a safe location as quickly as possible. Staying on a highway or in an intersection could cause more collisions and injuries. It’s also better to not cause a traffic jam, which can make it hard for an ambulance or police car to get to the scene. Move to a sidestreet, shoulder or parking lot as safely as you can. Then turn off your engine. If your car cannot be moved, turn your hazard lights on.
Check to see if you or any passengers have been hurt. (It’s good to keep a first aid kit in your car, and take some CPR and first aid courses so you can help others in medical distress.) If you’re seriously injured, try not to move until medical help arrives.
Call 911 as soon as you can so professional help can arrive. Answer the operator’s questions to the best of your abilities. Even if the accident is minor, it’s good to have a police officer make a report of the accident. In some states this is legally required.
Calmly speak to the other driver and ask if they’re okay. Avoid arguing over whose fault the accident was. Then ask to exchange information. Here are the details you need:
If there are any witnesses around, get their contact information too.
If you’re not seriously injured, and the scene is safe, take some photographs to document the scene. Photograph both vehicles, focusing on any damage that may have occurred as a result of the accident. Also photograph the scene to record any details about the road conditions or intersection details that may be relevant to the accident. Photograph the other driver’s license plate.
This is not of immediate importance, but call your insurance company when you get the chance to start your claims process. If you have an auto accident lawyer, he can do this part for you.
Do you need a car accident attorney? To recover damages from a driver who hit you, call Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC at 862-205-5125 or contact us online to schedule your one-hour free initial consultation. We’ve been protecting the rights of victims for more than 65 years. With offices throughout northern & central NJ, we make ourselves accessible to you.