Statistics show that nearly every American will experience the stress of a car accident someday. These traumatic experiences may result in injury, property damage or even death. Many drivers find it difficult to remember what to do immediately following the wake of an accident.
Over 70,000 car accidents occur in Oklahoma every year. All state motorists must keep the following steps in mind when involved in a car accident.
Steps following a traffic collision
Those involved in a traffic accident find that following these steps helps protect themselves, their property and other drivers. Immediately after an accident, do the following:
- Do not leave the scene: Stay at the scene of the accident. Leaving an accident may result in a hit-and-run charge.
- Check for injury: Drivers need to check themselves and their passengers for injuries. Check the drivers of other involved vehicles as well and help if able.
- Call 911: If an accident results in severe injury or death, call 911 as those injured need medical attention immediately. Oklahoma law also requires drivers to report any crashes involving serious injury. Oklahoma does not require non-injury accident reports, but it is always a good idea to do so.
- Record evidence: Take photos and videos of the accident. Any evidence recorded may serve potential liability lawsuits.
- Exchange information: Collect the personal information from all drivers involved including name, address, Vehicle Information Number (VIN), and driver’s license number. Do not discuss the details of the event, admit guilt or apologize.
- Inform insurance company: Most drivers will need to inform their insurance company of the accident. Oklahoma law requires drivers to have minimum coverage for the injury or death of up to two people in an accident and at least $25,000 for property damage.
- Call a lawyer: Drivers involved in an accident can bring their questions to a local attorney experienced with car accidents. They can assess a potential claim and help drivers prepare.
Keep the roads safe
Proper accident reporting helps keep Oklahoma streets safe and protect more drivers. Nearly 700 people die in car accidents in the state every year but that number is on the decline. Understanding proper protocol may help reduce that number even further.