What to Do On the Scene of an Auto Accident

By Compuquotes Team on July 18th, 2008
Auto Insurance

When you are part of an auto accident, whether your vehicle is involved or you are a witness to the accident, the most important thing to do is stay at the scene of the accident. It is against the law to flee the scene of an accident, even as a witness, until the police have cleared you to do so.

If your vehicle is involved in the collision, stay calm. Do not get out of your car to yell at the other driver, even if they hit you. Calm yourself down and focus. Take a few breaths and take stock of your injuries if you have any. If you are hurt, don't move - stay where you are, stay still and as relaxed as you can be. If your neck or back is injured, moving could cause further damage, paralysis or death.

If your engine is still running - turn it off. This will reduce the likelihood of any fluids catching fire at the accident scene. Even if you are okay do not move your vehicle. You should wait until the investigating police arrive at the scene so they can look at the accident. If you need to move your car, take a picture before you do so of the whole scene.

Check on the people in the other vehicle (or building) and if anyone is injured phone 911 and ask for medical services. Take time to calm the injured people down and tell them help is on the way. When you are speaking with the 911 operator, tell them calmly and slowly where you are and as much information as you can about the people or person who is hurt. Stay with the person who is injured and do not move them. If the injured person is in danger by staying in their vehicle such as fluids igniting, move the injured person as carefully as you can to a safe place, but only if necessary.

Next step is to take some safety precautions and put out flares or flags to warn other motorists to avoid the collision scene.

Contact the local city or state police to have them attend your accident scene. Stay calm on the phone with the police and tell them as much as you can about where you are located.

Make sure you get the name, address, phone number, and driver's license number, the name of the insurance company and policy information of the other drivers involved in the collision, even if you think you are at fault. Make sure that the license plate is current and that the registration number on the pink card matches the number on the license plate. If it turns out that the person driving the vehicle does not own the vehicle, make sure you get their information as well as the vehicle owners information. You should get the names and phone numbers of all people (passengers) involved in the collision as well.

Ask witnesses to stay at the accident scene until the police arrive. Get their names, address and phone numbers for the witnesses. Accident scenes can be total chaos - do not rely on anyone, not even the police, to get all the information you may need.

If you are injured, seek medical attention if you don't feel like you are hurt badly. Shock and numbness from the trauma of being in a car accident can hide some of the injuries you may have.

Give all the information you have, including the police report to your insurance company.

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