Reports show that as much as 250 hours a week may be used in many areas filling out accident reports on accident where injuries did not occur. As a result, a number of cities have decided that police would not respond to accidents when injuries were not involved.
If you happen to find yourself in this situation, you should be aware of what to do in advance. Knowing the steps to take when you are in a collision can help you if the police are not responding to those types of accidents. Even if you are in an area where police are still responding to those types of accidents, this information can help. The following steps should be performed when an accident occurs.
Stopping the Vehicle
As soon as the situation is safe, the vehicle should be stopped. If you are not able to pull over immediately and stop, do so when the conditions allow.
Moving the Vehicle
When your vehicle is resting in the roadway, it should be moved to the side as quickly as possible. If you are unable to move the vehicle, you should do what is necessary to make it visible to traffic, such as turning on your hazard lights. NOTE: not all states allow moving the vehicle from the area where the collision occurred. You should be aware of local laws that tell you whether you can move the car or if it should stay still.
Turn off the Ignition
After the accident, all vehicles should be turned off. Look for any gas leaks and any other possible dangers.
Get Away from the Vehicle
After the vehicle is moved and the engine is turned off, you should move away from the area. Ensure that the occupants of any other car and those that were with you are not in danger of being struck by passing vehicles.
Check for Injuries
Both yourself and others should be checked to ensure that injuries have not occurred. If a serious injury is evident, the individual should not be moved unless their life depends on it.
Contact First Responders
If you live in an area where police will respond to a non injury accident, they should be contacted right away. The same is also true if injuries have occurred. If medical attention is needed for any injuries, medical services should be contacted. The police should be notified if the roadway is blocked by the vehicles.
Exchange Information with the other driver
The other driver should provide information for you including their name and telephone number, address, insurance carrier, driver’s license number, insurance policy, and contact information for their insurance. It may be likely your insurance goes up, so you may have to compare cheap car insurance polices next year.
Record as much information as possible about their vehicle, including the license plate number, year, make and model. If there are any passengers that were in the vehicle with them, be sure to get their names.
Get Statements from Witnesses
If there were any witnesses, they should write down their name and telephone number along with what they saw. If they are unable to stay until the police arrive, have the statement signed and retain it to give to the police.
It is a good idea to take pictures with your phone of the vehicles, the area of the road and the nearby intersection where the accident took place. If there are skidmarks involved, they should be included. Pictures of injuries should also be considered if they are possible. If a camera is not available or if the phone is broken, sketch out a diagram of the scene. Include information about the area where the occupants were seated and the direction of travel of both vehicles. Write down information about the conditions, including the weather, date and time.
If you are driving a vehicle during working hours, your employee should be contacted and notified of the accident. You should receive information from your employer as to where you should have the vehicle towed.
Talk to Police
If the police arrive on the scene, provide them with information about what took place along with your insurance and driver’s license. The police should also speak to witnesses to get personal information.
Get Police Information
The name and badge number of the police should be recorded along with information about any first responders. Be sure of the type of law enforcement that arrived and determine who to contact to get a police report.