Auto accidents aren’t just painful and traumatic—they’re also legal matters. All Indiana crashes that involve injuries, death, or property damage of at least $1,000 must be reported to police. That means you can’t just drive away after a crash that involves any of those circumstances without waiting for the police to show up, even if only the other party was injured or had vehicle damage and you did not. It’s not enough to simply provide your contact information to the other party.
Being required to stay at the crash scene until police arrive does two things. First, it ensures that police will get all the information they need to complete an accurate report of what happened. Second, it allows all of the involved drivers a chance to speak to each other and trade information. Getting contact info from other drivers is essential, but it’s not the only contact info you’ll need to acquire before you leave the scene.
Even minor fenders that are reported to 911 must be checked out by at least one police officer. When you report your accident, a police officer will arrive at the scene, often within minutes of your call. They will inspect the crash scene, including the damage sustained by all involved vehicles, take note of the condition of drivers and passengers, and begin filling out an accident report.
Cooperate with the responding officer, and be sure to get the following information from them:
This information is important to have if you decide to file a personal injury claim, as both the accident report and the responding police officer’s statements and observations can help bolster your chances of success.
When you’re not at fault for a crash, the more eyes who saw it happen, the better your chances of winning your claim. Remember that the other driver and their insurance company are unlikely to outright admit fault, but neutral third parties—i.e., witnesses—will be much more forthcoming about what actually happened.
As with the other driver(s), get the following information from witnesses:
Witnesses may not only include the people who were driving or walking near you when the crash happened. For example, you can request contact information from local business owners whose security cameras may have been pointed at the road or intersection where your crash occurred.
If you’re treated for injuries at the scene of the crash and transported to the hospital, consider this stage the beginning of “proof” that your injuries happened as a result of the crash. But even though you’re being transported to the hospital directly from the accident scene, certain information may get lost along the way.
Getting the names and contact information of the paramedics or EMS crew who treat you before you’re admitted can be helpful if there are discrepancies or doubt over the origin of your injuries. Although these people are rarely involved in auto accident claims, being able to contact them can give you peace of mind and serve as additional evidence if needed.
Although it’s important to get as much contact information as possible at the crash scene, we know that’s not always possible. For example, you or a loved one may be seriously injured or even trapped in your vehicle, and that can make it impossible to speak to the other driver, let alone other people at the scene.
Don’t worry if you can’t get all the contact information you need or even follow all the recommended steps before you leave the crash scene. Although completing these steps can help your claim, it’s our job to build your claim.
Your job is to focus on getting better. Contact the Indiana auto accident attorneys at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin today for a free consultation. You owe us nothing unless we win, so there’s no risk in calling and learning about your next steps and your best options for moving forward.
Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & NewlinN/a
The financial burden that often comes with a serious injury can be too much for many people to bear. Unexpected medical debt, damaged personal property, and the sudden loss of income can impact the budgets of most families. The good news is that a successful injury claim could help reduce that financial strain after a serious accident. Get in touch with a Terre Haute personal injury lawyer with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin to learn more.
© Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin