The moments immediately after a person is involved in an automobile accident can be the most important of all, and knowing what to do in advance is critical. Lives could be at stake and if you make the wrong split-second decision it could be fatal. There are a number of things that a person should remember to do in the minutes following an automobile accident and also a thing or two to do in advance every time you get behind the wheel of a car to drive.
Do Not Leave the Scene of the Accident
If you are involved in an automobile accident the first thing to do is to stop and do not leave the scene of the accident until the police and/or emergency medical assistance arrives. If you are not involved in the accident and drive up to one, you are required to pull up as close to the accident as safely possible, call 911, and do the best you can to provide first aid to the victims. Failing to stop and report an automobile accident you drive up upon is punishable by having one’s driver’s license suspended.
The best thing about having a cell phone is that you can use it to call for emergency medical assistance right away if you are involved in an accident and physically able to do so, but if you cannot locate your phone it is of no good. Remember to turn off your cell phone and put it in your pocket before you get behind the wheel to drive. The same goes for your passengers. Car wrecks can be violent collisions and chances are if you leave your phone on the front seat or on the dashboard you will not be able to find it after the collision. Making that emergency 911 phone call right away could save your life, the life of one of your children or spouse, or the lives of others involved in the collision.
Simple Fender Benders
If the accident is a simple fender bender, you are required to share information such as your driver’s license number, address, phone number, license plate number and auto insurance company and policy number. A driver should also get the names and phone numbers of eyewitnesses to the accident as they may be called to testify. If you have a smartphone or camera handy you should take a few photos of the vehicles involved and also the scene of the accident or anything that may have caused the accident.
Reporting A West Virginia Accident
If the accident caused injury or death to any individual or if there was property damage exceeding $500, according to the West Virginia DMV, you are required to report the event to the West Virginia Department of Transportation. Failing to do so could result in your driver’s license being suspended. A police officer on the scene will ask for your driver’s license and proof of insurance.
Finally, you will need to contact your insurance company to report the accident and to complete any forms they may require. If you have been injured or have had loved one killed in an auto accident consider contacting a personal injury lawyer such as the Car Accident Lawyer that specializes in accidents. You may be entitled to compensation for reimbursement of medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.