Accident Guide in South Dakota

Actions to Take at the Accident Scene

Knowing what to do after an accident is important to save money, and even lives.

  • Do not flee. You must stop, regardless of how insignificant the damage. If you hurry away, you risk facing legal repercussions, even if you were not at fault.
  • Move your vehicle, if possible, off the road and to the side.
  • Don't milk being the center of attention by wandering into the road. Stay off to the side and away from traffic.
  • Turn off your vehicle's ignition.
  • No matter how frayed your nerves may be, do not light a cigarette. Spilled flammable fluids may be present.
  • Try to alert approaching traffic of the wreckage. Road flares work best.

Actions to Take if There's Injury

  • Do not move the injured. You could cause more harm if there's a back or neck injury. Removing the injured from a flaming wreck is the lone exception to this rule.
  • Don't assume people are fine. Take the initiative to contact emergency medical crews.
  • Cover the injured with blankets or coats to help prevent shock.
  • Apply direct pressure to any gaping wounds.
  • Do not offer drinks to the injured. This includes water. Let emergency crews handle refreshment duties.

Reporting the Accident

  • If injury, death or property damage of $1,000 or more to one person's property, or $2,000 per accident, occurs, you must immediately contact the police and give them the accident details at the scene of the crash (providing, of course, you're uninjured). You must also notify your insurance company as soon as possible.
  • Exchange contact information with all involved drivers. Be sure to get: name, address, phone number, driver license number, and insurance company contacts.
  • Record contact information of witnesses.
  • Take pictures, if possible. All proof is good proof when it comes to insurance claims.

Hitting an Unoccupied Vehicle

If you slam into an unoccupied vehicle, or damage someone's property, try to locate the owner(s). If unsuccessful, leave a note containing: your name, address, phone number, license number, license plate number, date and time, and damage assessment.

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