What Are You Legally Obligated to Do if Involved in a Car Crash?
There are many ways to be involved in a car crash. Sometimes drivers and bystanders become involved in car crashes that do not directly involve their person or their property. The law requires specific actions from involved parties when auto crashes occur, but they depend on the circumstances.
The requisite actions are not complicated, but it is important to understand what they are before you find yourself involved in a car crash. It is sometimes hard to act with intention, or remember the correct steps, if you haven’t reviewed this material ahead of time. What is more, not all of these actions are legal requirements – some are merely applications of common sense.
If you are involved in a car wreck with no personal injuries, the first thing you need to do is remove your vehicle from the roadway to a place where it will be safe. You don’t want to be hit by an oncoming vehicle because your car is in the wrong place. Once all parties involved have removed their vehicles to a safe spot, then trade insurance and contact information with the other party. Law enforcement doesn’t necessarily need to be involved if no one is hurt and the vehicles are not badly damaged.
If one or more of the cars involved is disabled, things get slightly more complicated. A car accident lawyer may be useful in this situation, as they will be in the instances that follow. If your car is disabled, it is important for you to make sure you aren’t hurt by another vehicle, since you won’t be able to move your car to an ideal location. If you are out of sight of the other vehicle, it is important for you to contact law enforcement at this point. If you lose contact with the other driver, you could be charged with a hit and run, and contacting the police prevents this.
If you are involved in car wreck where any party is injured or killed, you are required by law to dial 911 immediately.
If you are a first responder to a car wreck, make sure you don’t inflame the situation with your actions. One great way to help is to make sure that the scene is safe for the people involved, especially if there are injuries present. Make sure that the hazards of the affected vehicles are working, and use your own vehicle’s if it is present.
First responders are responsible for calling 911 if this has not been done yet. This is sometimes necessary if all involved parties are injured. Be descriptive as to the location of the accident. Describe how many people are involved, but make sure not to move any injured persons. If you are educated in first aid, you can help injured parties out in this instance, still being careful not to move them.
The best legal protection you can employ is to drive safely and not be involved in car wrecks. However, if you do become involved in one, the above information should help you through it.