A traffic accident can be highly stressful and upsetting even if no one is injured. Drivers in North Carolina are required to take certain steps if they are involved in a car accident, including stopping their vehicle and providing driver’s license and insurance information to others involved. It can be difficult to think clearly in the chaotic moments after a collision, so we have put together a car accident checklist.
- Stop your vehicle at the scene.
- Assist those who are injured by calling for emergency help if needed.
- Get as much information as possible from the other driver, including name, address, phone number, insurance information, and license plate number.
- Report the accident to police and request an ambulance if anyone needs emergency treatment. Do not let anyone talk you out of calling the police.
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident. Many times, witnesses drive off before police arrive, so act quickly to get their names.
- Use your phone camera to take photos of the accident, showing the position of the vehicles before they are moved, and any damage to them. Photograph your injuries and the injuries of your passengers at the time of the accident and in the days afterward.
- Provide the police with the basic facts of what occurred. Do not blame the other driver or assume fault yourself even if you believe you caused the accident. Let the facts speak for themselves. You may not know all the contributing factors to the accident. Inform the police officer if you are injured. The officer can summon an ambulance if needed or make note that you are taking yourself to the hospital.
- See a doctor, even if you do not feel injured. Some serious injuries may not be immediately obvious.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Consult with an experienced attorney to discuss your legal rights if the accident was caused by another motorist and you sustained injuries.
Taking the right steps after a car accident can make the ordeal seem less stressful and put you in a better position if you need to file an injury claim.