- Location: Nebraska
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We're never completely safe from automobile accidents.
Before you worry about who is at fault, make sure you and everyone else involved in the accident is safe.
- Park your vehicle as close to the accident scene as possible, out of traffic.
- If it was an injury-causing accident, ask an uninjured person to place flashers, reflectors, or flares around the accident scene to warn oncoming traffic.
- Check for injuries. Call law enforcement and 911 and render any first-aid with which you feel comfortable.
- In cases where they were called, never leave the accident scene until law enforcement has cleared you.
Whether you're headed to the grocery store down the street or to a beach three states away, you should always travel prepared. This means having both a first aid kit and an emergency kit in your vehicle at all times.
Now that you know how to immediately respond to an accident, let's talk about what you must do once everyone's safety is secured.
Regardless of who is at fault, whenever you have an accident,exchange the following information:
- Names, addresses, phone numbers
- Driver license numbers
- License plate numbers
- Vehicle makes, models, and years
- Car insurance information
If you're unable to exchange information because you've collided with a parked vehicle and the owner isn't around, leave your information clearly written on a piece of paper and left where the owner can find it. (If this is the case, you can still get the vehicle's license plate number and vehicle description.) Report the mishap to local authorities; that way, if something happens to your note, the other party can find you and you won't be charged with a hit-and-run.
Reporting the Accident
The information you gather from the other involved parties will come in handy when you're completing the Driver's Motor Vehicle Accident Report (Form DR-41).
If the accident causes more than $1,000 in damages to the vehicle(s) or some other personal property, or if the accident causes physical injuries or death, you must report it.
If you don't complete the form and report the accident, you're committing a misdemeanor and risking driver license revoked.
Unfortunately, it's not always about exchanging information and carting injured parties off to the hospital. There are times when vehicle accidents and personal injuries are serious enough to require legal representation.
In these situations, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.