The moments after a car accident can be confusing and scary. The high speeds and heavy traffic that come with highway driving make the situation even more overwhelming. Follow these tips to stay safe and protect yourself after a highway crash.
1. Stay at the scene.
Leaving the scene of an accident can result in a suspended license or loss of driving privileges.
2. Before getting out of your car, check your car mirrors -- just as police officers do.
Sergeant Tim Coughlin of the North Dakota State Highway Patrol explains, "As troopers, when we make traffic stops on the interstate, the very first thing we do when we stop is we check our mirrors to make sure it’s safe for us to step out of our vehicle. Be very, very cautious in a crash, breakdown, anything like that. You really have to be cognizant of the traffic around you. Don’t assume that people see you."
After assessing the situation, move your car as close to the accident scene as you can. Call 911 if needed, and avoid moving injured parties if possible. Contact local police even if there are no injuries. Remain calm, and avoid blocking traffic.
4. Exchange contact information with other drivers and any witnesses.
Provide the following details:
- Name, address and phone number
- Driver's license number
- License plate number
- Auto insurer's name and contact info if available
Exchanging information with all drivers is a must, even if the accident seems minor. It may also be useful to take photographs at the scene of the accident.
5. If injuries or deaths occurred, or if there's property damage totaling $1000 or more, you are required to submit a Motor Vehicle Accident Report to the Minnesota Department of Safety within 10 days of the accident. The address at the bottom of the form.
6. If you or a loved one were injured in an auto accident, contact a local law firm that can help protect your right to fair compensation.
The friendly, knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben have helped accident victims throughout the Upper Midwest for over 40 years. We work hard to attain the best possible outcome after an accident so that you can focus on healing and recovery. Contact us for a free consultation at 612-377-7777 or toll free at 1-800-752-4265.