An auto accident can be a scary thing. Emotions and adrenaline run high, making it hard to know what to do next. If you find yourself involved in an auto accident, remain calm and keep these basic steps in mind.
Check for Injuries
Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Seek medical attention, and when in doubt, call an ambulance. If someone is unconscious or suffering back or neck pain, don’t move the individual unless it is necessary to prevent further harm. If there are injuries, anticipate a call to your lawyer in the near future — just to be safe.
Get to a Safe Place
If the accident was minor and both vehicles are drivable, move out of the way of traffic. Be sure to turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights. Whether on a highway in Salt Lake City or on a rural two-lane farm road, stay safely out of traffic until help arrives.
Call the Police
Always call the police. Use the emergency line (911) if there are significant damages or injuries. If the accident is minor, call the non-emergency line and request to file a police report. If the accident happened in an urban area like Salt Lake City, you might be asked to file a report online instead.
Don’t Admit Fault
Be polite and courteous to the other drivers involved — but don’t admit fault in any way. Don’t sign anything without consulting your lawyer. Give full details to your lawyer, the police and your insurance company.
Collect the contact information, drivers’ license numbers, license plate numbers and basic insurance details of all drivers involved. If there were passengers present, collect their personal information as well.
If a police officer responds to the accident, write down the officer’s name and badge number. Talk to witnesses and record witness’s contact information. If the accident took place in a populated area such as downtown Salt Lake City, ask locals if they’ve ever witnessed other accidents in the same place.
Take pictures of damage to all vehicles and the accident scene. Don’t leave the accident until you have gathered all the relevant information and the other drivers and police say you are free to go.