HIT-AND-RUN ACCIDENT A REMINDER OF WHAT NOT TO DO IN A CRASH
In light of a hit-and-run accident in Lawrence, this article looks at what steps to take following a car crash in Indiana.
Staying at scene and abiding by state law is vital when involved in a crash
A fatal motorcycle accident in Lawrence recently should serve as a reminder to all other motorists in Indiana of what to do-and not to do-following an accident. According to the Indianapolis Star, the driver of an SUV swerved into the motorcyclist and then fled the scene of the crash. Sadly, the motorcyclist in the incident succumbed to his injuries and police are still searching for the hit-and-run driver. While most people are aware that fleeing the scene of an accident is illegal, knowing what else to do after a crash can sometimes be difficult. Understanding what is required of drivers after a crash is important, however, and it both help save lives and assist in any future claims.
First, it should go without saying that state law requires drivers to remain at the scene of an accident. This law also applies to accidents involving unoccupied vehicles. If an unoccupied vehicle is struck, a note containing one’s name and contact information should be left on the windshield. After stopping and getting out of the way of traffic as much as possible, the most important step to take is to call 911. According to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), Indiana police and the BMV must be notified of any accident resulting in death or injury or one that leads to $1000 or more in property damages. Once emergency personnel have been contacted, drivers should get in touch with a personal injury attorney.
State law also requires drivers to exchange certain essential information with one another, including names, contact information, driver license numbers, license plate numbers, the make and models of all vehicles involved in the crash, and car insurance information. Names and contact information of any witnesses should also be obtained, as well as names and badge numbers of the police officers who respond to the accident. It is important to remember that not complying with state law at an accident scene could ultimately be detrimental to future compensation claims.
In many cases, drivers involved in an accident will have to talk to police. While talking to police, however, it is important not to say who may have been responsible for the accident. Determining fault can be a complicated process and there may be factors that are not readily apparent that may have contributed to a crash. An attorney who is experienced in handling car accident cases can help in determining fault afterwards.
Finally, if possible, those involved in a crash should try to gather evidence of the crash, especially photographic evidence. Taking pictures not just of the damaged vehicles themselves, but of the surrounding conditions, such as skid marks and the road surrounding the crash site, can be invaluable when it comes to obtaining compensation. Likewise, if medical attention is necessary, be sure to obtain copies of any medical expenses.
Contacting an attorney
Short of contacting emergency services, getting in touch with a personal injury attorney is probably the most important step one can take following an accident. A car crash can be overwhelming and confusing, but an experienced attorney can help accident victims make sense of the situation. By contacting such an attorney immediately, those involved in an accident will have the help they need to recover from their injuries and pursue whatever compensation they may be entitled to.
Keywords: Hit-and-run accident, fled the scene, Motor Vehicles (BMV), Police report, Contacting an attorney, future claims, state law, driver license numbers, license plate numbers