It's a rare person who wouldn't feel rattled after a car accident. The possibility of bodily harm and vehicle damage can raise anybody's blood pressure.
After managing thousands of car accident cases, the Las Vegas accident attorneys at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez know, being mentally prepared with a simple, four-step checklist will calm your nerves – and reduce the chance of legal or medical complications later.
Tend to safety first
- Check yourself for injuries. Try not to move if you're seriously injured.
- Check on the state of your passengers. Tend to any minor injuries with a first aid kit (a good reminder to have one in your car in the first place). Don't risk moving a seriously injured person; wait for paramedics to arrive.
- Steer your car to the side of the road, if it's drivable. Either way, turn on your hazard lights and set flares around your car to alert motorists of your plight.
- Turn off your car and stay inside. Leaving the scene of an accident will almost certainly engender a ticket and fine.
Notify the authorities
- Call 911. Even if your accident appears to be a minor fender-bender, don't take chances. Call for help anyway.
- Ask any witnesses to the accident to remain on the scene until police arrive.
Document the accident and accident scene
- Cooperate with police officers who will complete the accident report. The process can take a while, so try to be patient.
- Take pictures of the accident while the police work. Shoot from different angles and be sure to take close-ups of vehicle damage and any property damage. As the Las Vegas accident attorneys at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez have learned, this one step can help protect your interests if a lawsuit is filed against you. Pictures can be persuasive evidence in court.
- Talk to witnesses, record their version of events and get their contact information.
- Ask for a copy of the accident report. If it's a busy night in Las Vegas, you may have to make a trip to the police department to pick up a copy of the report later.
Exchange information with the other driver involved in the accident
- Gather their:
- Name and phone number
- Email address
- Driver's license and plate number
- Vehicle make and model
- Insurance company and policy number
Be sure to gather contact information from any passengers in the other vehicle, too.
Heed two more tips from experienced Las Vegas accident attorneys
Under these conditions, it's easy to understand how more than emergency lights can flare after an accident; tempers can, too. If the driver of the other vehicle is intent on having an argument, take a deep breath but don't take the bait. Walk away and reach out to the Las Vegas accident attorneys at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez. Like a port in a storm, we can help shield you from raging elements – and give you our best and most reassuring legal counsel at the same time. Call 702-388-4476 for a free legal consultation today.