In the moments after a car accident, the stress, chaos, and confusion can have serious effects on your decision-making process. Because it can be overwhelming, it’s a good idea to be familiar with accident protocol. For example, many people think they should leave their car in its place until police officers have an opportunity to write a report, but that’s not always the case. Read ahead to find out when you should move your vehicle, when you shouldn’t, and the best course of action after any crash.
Fender Bender? Move Your Car Out of the Way
If you’re involved in an accident with no injuries and only minor damages (think bumper dents and door dings), law enforcement officials recommend moving your vehicle out of travel lanes–particularly if you are in an urban area, so your vehicles don’t impede traffic. The exception to this is if moving your vehicle would cause additional damage to the vehicles involved, or if it cannot be moved safely. In major cities, like Las Vegas, police are beginning to adjust their policies about minor accidents, leaving the responsibility of exchanging insurance information and moving vehicles up to the drivers.
In serious accidents involving injuries, major damage to vehicles or property, or a high likelihood of dispute about responsibility, you are better off keeping the vehicles in place until you’ve had a chance to talk with police.
Your Car has Been Moved, Now What?
Once you’ve moved your car to the shoulder, there are additional steps to take. You’ll need to exchange information with other motorists involved, including: your contact information, license plate and driver’s license numbers, insurance information. At this point, you should also document any damage using your camera phone. If necessary, you should then seek medical attention, no matter how minor your injuries.
What else should you do? If there is no injury, you should contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible, even while you’re waiting for a tow truck. Not only can they get your claim started, but they can guide you through the entire legal process following a major accident. Contact Gazda & Tadayon if you’re seeking legal help with your accident.