There are several things you should do if you are involved in a traffic accident. The most important thing to remember is to be safe and use caution so you do not make the situation worse.
After an accident you should:
- Stop and remain at the scene.
- Be safe! get out of the vehicle and get off of the road. Stay a safe distance from the vehicle until help comes.
- Call 911 to get police and any necessary medical personnel to the scene right away. You should also file a report with the police, sheriff or highway patrol immediately after an accident.
- Help or get help for any injured people. The law requires you to give reasonable assistance to anyone injured, for example by calling an ambulance or giving first aid if you know how to do so. However, you must be careful not make the situation worse. You should not move a severely injured person if you are not properly trained because you may make their injuries more severe. There are some exceptions to this, for example if the person is at risk of being killed hurt even worse.
- Warn other motorists by using flares or hazard lights. Again, use common sense to avoid making the situation worse, e.g. don't use flares if there are flammable substances on the ground.
- Get medical attention for any injuries right away. Not all injuries are readily apparent after an accident so it is important to watch out for symptoms that may develop later.
- Get the name, contact information, driver's license number, and insurance information from all other drivers as well as a description of their vehicles and license plate numbers.
- Get the names, contact information and statements from any witnesses or passengers.
- Gather as much information as possible about the accident, for example the exact location, time of day, conditions, etc. If it is safe to do so, take photographs of the accident scene and any damage to vehicles or other property and any visible injuries.
- Cooperate fully with law enforcement officers but do not make statements to anyone regarding your potential fault in the accident without speaking to an attorney first. Statements made in an attempt to be helpful can easily be misinterpreted and used against you. Also, do not sign anything without consulting a lawyer.
- Contact your own insurance company and report the accident but do not talk to anyone about the details of the accident or your injuries, except your doctor or lawyer.
- Report the accident to the DMV within ten days if anyone was injured or killed, or if there was more than $750 worth of damage to any vehicle.
- Contact Barton Chiropractic in Concord to schedule a free consultation to evaluate your injuries. Research has shown that without the proper corrective care, permanent damage can result. Often symptoms take weeks to months to surface.