Whether you were involved in a minor fender bender or a serious collision, the impulse to flee the scene is understandable. Many drivers panic after getting into an accident. In the event of a minor crash, you might also think leaving the scene is not a problem. Unfortunately, leaving the scene of an accident could have serious ramifications for you, including large financial penalties. In some instances, a hit-and-run could even land you with a felony charge on your criminal record.
What to Do Immediately After an Accident
If you’ve had an accident, take a deep breath. If possible, drive your car out of the roadway and park it in a safe spot. If your vehicle isn’t blocking the flow of traffic or causing a hazard, you can leave it in its original position. You should also use flares or your hazards to alert other drivers to the accident.
Make certain to check yourself and your passengers for injury before getting out of the vehicle. After assessing your condition, call 911 to notify the police of the accident and to request an ambulance, if necessary.
Remember, Wyoming drivers are required to report all accidents resulting in at least $1,000 worth of damage to the police as quickly as possible following the accident. To be safe, you should report all accidents, even minor collisions.
Exchanging Your Information
Greet the other driver calmly and focus on the task at hand. You’ll need to exchange insurance information, license numbers, and contact details with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. You should also note the license plate numbers of the other vehicles, along with identifying information like make, model, and color.
Regardless of whether the accident was your fault, refrain from taking the blame for the crash. Have a constructive conversation with any other drivers involved and don’t apologize for the crash. Instead, focus on making certain everyone receives medical attention and that the authorities are on their way. This will limit potential financial liability down the road.
Documenting the Accident
Your goal in the immediate aftermath of an accident should be identifying what happened so you can share these details with both the police and your insurer. You can take notes on your phone or by using a pen and paper. If possible, you should also document the resulting damage of the crash with photographs. Especially if you are not at fault in the accident, these may prove beneficial for insurance purposes.
Contacting Your Attorney
After the crash has been documented by the police, reach out to a Wyoming car accident attorney to discuss the events that occurred. Whether you were at fault or not, car accidents can have a long-lasting financial impact. Consulting a legal expert will help you cover your bases in the event of a potential lawsuit from other drivers involved. A Wyoming car accident attorney should also be able to provide advice on how to handle matters with your insurance provider.
A car accident is never a pleasant addition to your day, but by taking the right steps in the moments following the incident, you can protect yourself from unnecessary financial and legal risks. There is never a valid reason to leave the scene of an accident, so don’t be tempted to hop back in your car and drive away. Handling the situation in an appropriate manner will help you move past the accident without further complications.