What Should I Do After an Accident?
If you have just been in a car crash, follow this checklist to move on safely and legally.
Take a Deep Breath and Assess the Situation
If you have just heard the tell-tale crunch of metal and felt the snap of your neck after an automobile collision, the first thing you need to do is to stay calm. You are going to need your brain and composure to get you through these next steps.
Take a deep breath, look around you, and determine what is going on. If you are driving, look at your passengers, and figure out which way is up.
Move to Safety
Now that you know which way is up, try to move to safety. If you are pinned inside the vehicle, just hold tight until emergency personnel arrives on the scene. If you can drive the vehicle, move the car from the roadway onto the shoulder or a nearby parking lot so that you are no longer in the path of traffic. You may not be able to move. Just do the best you can.
Take Stock of Possible Injuries
Once you are in a place of safety, check to see if you are injured in a way you may not have noticed before. Check your passengers. Take a moment to check on any children that may be with you. Look for blood, and administer first aid.
Once you are safe and not bleeding to death, report your accident to the authorities. You may not want to, but it is in your best interests to do so. You can contact the Montana Highway Patrol here.
Wait for the Authorities
Do not leave the scene of an accident before the police officer or state trooper arrives at the scene. It is illegal to do so, and it is not wise from a personal-injury prospective. Always obey the rules. Do not admit fault for the accident or apologize for the accident. If you can, stay inside your vehicle and wait for help.
Cooperate With Police
Once officers arrived on the scene, answer their questions honestly. Provide any documents they ask for, and if you get a ticket. Do not challenge the officer at the scene of the accident.
Go to the Hospital
Anytime you are involved in an accident, please see a medical provider: your regular doctor, an urgent care facility, or an emergency room the same day as the accident.
Call your Insurance Agent
Your car insurance policy will require you to report any accident to them within 24 hours. It is a good idea to contact your insurance agent as soon as possible after the accident as you can,
Contact an Attorney
If you think that you were not at fault for the accident and that you may need help navigating the post-accident process, contact an attorney. An attorney can also help you with vehicle repairs, medical treatment, and other compensation. Attorneys from the advocates are available 24-7 for a free consultation.