Did you know that Seattle is ranked #5 in the nation for traffic congestion? When was the last time you found yourself caught in that? Car accidents seem to be everywhere. So, do you know what to do at the scene?
This list would be useful to keep in your vehicle, should you be involved in or witness an accident to ensure you don’t find yourself in a predicament later on. What you do at the scene is of utmost importance.
The following is my advice based on 25 years of legal experience of what to do immediately after an accident, and in the days to follow:
AT THE SCENE
- MEDICAL ATTENTION. After determining if anyone is hurt, CALL 911. Ask for a police officer to be sent to the scene, even if no one is injured or the property damage does not seem to be extensive. Creating a record of the collision is of absolute importance, and is vital in the investigation process.
- ASSESS THE SCENE. If safe to do so, get out of your vehicle to assess the accident and vehicle damage.
- MOVING YOUR VEHICLE. Unless you or others are in danger, wait until after the police have arrived and told you it is okay to move your vehicle.
- TAKE PICTURES. If you have a camera accessible, take pictures from all angles. Take photos of the location, vehicles involved, and anything important to the scene of the crash.
- OBTAIN INFORMATION. From all drivers, passengers, and witnesses, obtain names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and insurance information (from drivers). For all vehicles, write down the make, model, year, and license plate number.
Keep this list in your car so that you can easily access it should you need. Often in the midst of trauma it is hard to think clearly. This will help.