Accidents happen all the time, to anyone – even celebrities and politicians. Things get complicated, though when someone gets hurt in it. If that’s the case, and you were the one who hurt someone in a car wreck, you need to act fast (and, no – it doesn’t mean fleeing from the scene).
As Ed Bernstein lawyer Las Vegas wrote on his website, “After your collision, you may have been understandably upset. In such a state, it is easy to forget to get critical information and take appropriate steps.” Even though you might experience a state of shock after the accident, keep in mind that your actions can save the other person’s life, especially if they were severely injured.
So what should you do after hurting someone in a car accident? Keep reading if you want to find out.
Seek medical treatment
The first thing that you should do after an accident is to see if someone got injured, and if yes, then how severe the injury is. Remember that sometimes minor injuries can lead to more severe problems that will require hospitalization or even surgery.
This is why when on the accident scene, you need to make sure that no one involved will leave the scene without being checked by the doctor. The same goes for you – you need to get checked so that you won’t have to face huge medical bills if the injuries turn out to be more serious than they initially seemed.
NEVER leave the scene
It’s extremely important that you stay on the scene of the accident. The only thing that allows you to leave before the police come is a medical emergency. However, even then, you need to wait for the ambulance to turn up.
If you run away from the scene, you might be charged with a ‘hit and run,’ which can result not only in a fine that ranges from $2.000 to $5.000 but also in having to go to jail for as long as 20 years. Mind you that fleeing the scene, even if no one gets hurt, is considered a serious felony.
Call the police
If someone is hurt in the accident, then you are obliged to call the police. A police officer will be able to collect statements from all the parties involved, as well as the witnesses. They will create a report that later on you will be able to obtain – it is often required by the insurance companies.
Also, even if no one is hurt, it is still worth it to call the police – especially since, sometimes, insurance companies will need their rapport to proceed with financial compensation.
Collect important information and take photos
Even though the police are going to prepare their own report, you still should gather as much information as you can – that way you won’t have to be dependent on the police, which sometimes can take weeks or even months to prepare the report as your case is not the only one that they have.
Information that you would most probably be able to obtain includes the names, numbers, and addresses of those involved in the accident, as well as information about all the eyewitnesses so that you will have a way of contacting them if necessary. If you have a camera on your phone, don’t be hesitant to take pictures of the accident scene, as they might really help you if the other’s insurance company decides to file a lawsuit against you.
The first thing that you’ll probably have to do, after the police gather information and you have given your statement, is talk to a personal injury attorney. They will not only know what to do but also will be able to walk you through the whole legal process and what will happen next. Remember that every car accident is different, which is why in every case the procedure will vary – one of the reasons why you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
Since the insurance company will not wait to file a case against you, why should you wait to hire a lawyer? The answer is you should not. Oftentimes, insurance companies will try to take your statement right after an accident. Don’t provide it unless you have received legal advice to do it.
The bottom line
As you can see, the most important thing that you need to do after a car accident, in which someone got hurt, is to stay calm and act quickly – you never know, your quick reaction might be what it takes to save someone’s life.
Hopefully, you will never be faced with this type of situation. However, if you are, at least you will know what to do.