After I got hit, my heart was racing. My hands were shaking. I called 911. The 911 operator was terrible to me. She didn’t ask if I was ok. She didn’t ask how bad it was. She didn’t ask if my car was drivable. All she kept saying was, no one is coming for you. She said to just exchange information. I was not happy with this response, but I was stuck on the highway. You expect 911 to help but I clearly wasn’t getting any help from this lady.
As a personal injury attorney, I’ve seen the complications that arise when there isn’t a police report. Maybe the person who hits you lies after the fact that the collision even occurred. Maybe they show you fraudulent documents. In the moment, I’m not sure I did the best job of getting all the information I needed. But how would my clients handle this situation? Would they know what to do? So I figured this is a good time to go over a couple things to keep in mind if you ever get in a motor vehicle collision.
- The first thing is to make sure you are in a safe location. Don’t get out of the vehicle if its not safe around you. Even the most minor of collisions can turn deadly on the side of the road.
- Call 911 and ask for the police to be dispatched. The officers know what documents to ask for and they will also take your statement as to what happened. You want to make sure everything is documented. Even if you feel fine, you could run into issues down the line fixing your vehicle if you don’t have a report documenting what both drivers said happened.
- If you are in the unfortunate situation where the police are not coming- you need to exchange information. Grab your cell phone and take pictures of each other’s driver’s license, insurance card, and registration. Each of those documents will have information you will need in case you have to bring a claim. Even if you are the at-fault party, you want to know who the person you hit was and who the passengers are. Your insurance company will be looking at you to verify some basic details like how many people were in the vehicle if a police report was not generated.
- Its also a good idea to take a picture of any license plates so you have another way to identify the vehicles.
- While you have your phone out, take some photos of the scene and the cars after the crash in case there is a dispute as to what happened. Pictures often speak louder than words.
- If you are hurt, get checked out. If you have serious injuries, get yourself to the hospital. If it was a really bad crash but you aren’t feeling pain, you should still get checked out. You may have injuries but the adrenaline has kicked in so you aren’t feeling it. Safety should always come first. If you have some pain or it develops over time, go to urgent care or your primary care doctor to get checked out. Even what appears to be a minor crash could leave you with pain.
And as always, if you have been in a crash, give Dressler Law a call. We have a large team of attorneys and staff that would be happy to help you or answer any questions you may have.