Accidents are scary, especially when someone is hurt; that stress can be enough to make even the most practiced driver unsure of what to do. No matter what, and while it is easier said than done, the first step is not to panic. Do your best to keep your head level and keep yourself focused so you can help yourself and others as much as reasonably possible at the scene of the accident. Keep calm, and use the following to determine how to approach the situation.
What if I Am injured?
If you are seriously injured, it’s important that you seek medical attention immediately. Emergency services may be called to come to help you; if they do, focus on recovery and don’t worry about your vehicle or anything else for the moment – those things can be addressed once your needs for medical attention are met.
If you don’t believe you are seriously injured, then stay at the scene and collect information and cooperate with the police, but follow up with your doctor when you can.
What if Someone Else is Injured?
If someone else at the scene of the accident is seriously injured, summon emergency services by calling 911. Help them by providing relevant information about the location of the accident, and do your best to comply with their directions. If you are able, you may be asked to provide emergency medical support by following their instructions.
When talking with other involved parties or the authorities on the scene of the accident, be careful about how you apologize and what you say. While apologizing and accepting partial blame may seem like the polite thing to do, statements you make could have an effect on the accident report, your insurance, and your claim.
What if the Other Driver Flees the Accident?
If you are in an accident with a driver that flees the scene, it is very important that you contact the police as soon as possible. Because Colorado is an “At-Fault State”, the at-fault driver should be responsible for your medical bills. If they disappear before you can collect their name and insurance information from them, it will be difficult to file for compensation.
Fleeing the scene of an accident is a crime. Involving the police as soon as possible will allow them to help you track the other party down and will ensure that the accident is documented officially. Don’t forget to take photographs of your own as well.