CAUTION! If you are ever in an auto accident, you may be too excited or shocked to think clearly at the moment. Because accidents happen to the best of drivers, everyone should be prepared to do the right things immediately afterward. Many legal troubles arising from accidents could be avoided or lessened if the persons involved knew in advance what they should do.
1. STOP- State law requires that the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident wherein a person is injured or damage is done to some property shall immediately stop his vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
2. ASSIST THE INJURED- Your first duty after stopping your car is to check for injured persons. If someone is seriously injured, try to make arrangements for a doctor to come to the scene or call an ambulance, whichever is quicker. Do not move the injured person unless you know what you are doing. Good intentions on your part may result in further injury to the victim.
3. PROTECT THE SCENE- Take all possible precautions to prevent further accidents. Try to have someone stationed to warn approaching vehicles and. if at night and flares and reflectors are available., put them out or have it done. If no flares and reflectors are available and you have a flashlight, use it.
4. CALL AN OFFICER- Give notice of the accident to the local police department if the accident occurs within a city or, or if it occurs outside city limits, to the office of the County Sheriff or to the nearest station of the State Highway Patrol.
5. COMMENTS- Do not comment on the accident. Keep your notes and information strictly to yourself.
6. ASSIST THE OFFICER- Remain at the scene, unless injured, until the officer arrives. Cooperate with the officer by advising him of the basic facts briefly. Remember: You have the right to consult a lawyer before making any statement. If it is a serious accident, consult him as quickly as possible.
7. IDENTIFY THE OTHER DRIVER- Obtain the other driver's name, address, and the registration number of the vehicle he is driving, and request him to exhibit to you his driver's license.
8. WITNESSES- Obtain the names and addresses of any and all witnesses as soon as you can. Both eyewitnesses and all others who might have some information about any of the circumstances of the accident.
9. ARRESTS- An arrest at the scene of the other party or yourself does not necessarily indicate liability. Any statement made may be used as an admission, so it is important that you contact your lawyer as soon as possible before making any statements.
10. WHEN TO LEAVE THE SCENE- Unless your injuries impel you to do otherwise, do not leave the scene of the accident until you have, as outlined previously, assisted the injured, protected the scene, called an officer and assisted him, identified the other driver, obtained the names, addresses, and statements of all witnesses and made notes.
11. SEE YOUR CHIROPRACTOR- Remember that serious and costly injuries do not always result in immediate pain or bloodshed. Automobile liability and automobile Medical Pay Insurance will pay for chiropractic examination and treatment.
12. INFORM INSURANCE COMPANY- Make a complete report to your insurance company. Failure to make a prompt and correct report may affect your rights.