We are often asked: what do I do after a minor car accident? The number one thing you can do to protect yourself is to realize that your accident might not be as minor as you think it is. It is always wise to treat every accident as though you might be injured. Keep reading to find out why your accident could be more serious than you initially thought. If you need a legal opinion, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 602-340-0030 for a free consultation.
Always Stop at the Scene of an Accident
You are required by law to stop at the scene of any accident you are involved in – even if it seemed to be minor or just scrape your vehicle. If you leave the scene, it could be considered a hit and run – even if the accident was minor. When you stop at the scene, make sure you and your passengers are safe. If anyone needs immediate medical care, call 911 and let the EMTs handle the situation.
In accidents where the cars are too damaged to be driven, they should be kept in place, but in the instance of a minor car accident, you should move your car out of the way of other vehicles. This keeps everyone safe and reduces the chance that your accident will cause another accident. However, take pictures of how the vehicles landed before you move them.
Call the Police if There Are Any Injuries or if There is Property Damage of More than $950
If the accident is truly minor and there are nothing but scratches on the vehicles, and no one involved seems to be injured at all, then you are not required by law to call the police. If anyone is injured – even a slight scratch – it is wise to call the police so they can document the accident. Note that the police will not always come out for minor accidents, but if someone is injured or there is significant property damage, it is likely they will.
If the police elect not to come, get a statement from the other driver. You can either record it or have them write it down and sign it. Do not admit fault or even apologize as this could end up being taken out of context.
See a Doctor
Yes, you should see a doctor even if you do not think you were injured. Some injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, are not obvious the moment the accident is over. When you visit the doctor, they can look for signs of hidden injuries and determine if you are truly safe. If they determine that you have an injury, you might consult with a personal injury attorney to find out what your options are. Call The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 602-340-0030 for a free consultation.