We have all received countless advice on how to avoid an auto accident: adjust your mirrors, drive the speed limit, pay attention to weather changes, etc. And it’s all great advice, but even when you do your best, sometimes an accident is unavoidable. In those moments, do you know what you are legally supposed to do? Do you know what is in your best interests to do?
If the answer to these questions is “no,” don’t worry! The Kemp & Ruge blog is here to guide you through it. So, let’s tackle the legal obligations first:
- You must stop. No exceptions. It may not seem like much (or any) damage was done, and if you’re rushing to get somewhere else, you may think “what’s the big deal?” Well, it’s a huge deal. You could have your license revoked or worse, so no matter what, stop.
- If someone is hurt, you are required to get help. Just pull out your cell (or find the nearest person who has one) and dial 911.
- Additionally, if someone is hurt or there is property damage over $500 the accident must be reported to the authorities.
- If your car is blocking traffic, you must get it moved. However, do NOT attempt to move it if the car is non-operational or could result in injury to you or someone else. At that point, call a tow truck.
- You must give your name, address, insurance information, and vehicle registration number to all parties involved in the accident.
So now that we have tackled the most pressing legal obligations you will need to handle, what should you to do to protect your best interests?
- Locate any witnesses and write down their contact information. You may think that witnesses will stick around for awhile, but when they leave, it could be very difficult to locate them again. Thus, as soon as it is safe, start gathering the information.
- Take pictures. Pull out your phone, your digital camera, or borrow someone else’s and start snapping away! The more pictures you take, the better.
- Contact an attorney who specializes in Personal Injury law before talking to any insurance companies.
While this may seem like a lot to remember, fear not, because:
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