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Victor C. Mitchener, Attorney

Joseph H. Downer, Attorney

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The steps to follow after the impact

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

As locals know, our population has swelled over the last few years. And, with that swelled population in Charlotte comes increases in traffic and traffic accidents. Unfortunately, that does not bode well for your morning commute, which means you owe it to yourself to prepare for a car accident now, rather than waiting for one.

The first step, get a camera

If you have social media, especially Reddit, you have likely spent hours watching car accident videos from dashboard cameras. This is your sign to get one, if you do not already have one. These cameras can be the difference between being blamed for an accident and winning your lawsuit against a negligent driver.

You can get an inexpensive one that only monitors the front and inside of your vehicle. However, if you can, get one that has a 360-degree view, which will video impacts from all sides.

Once it happens, check everyone and everything

After the impact, check yourself, your passengers, the vehicle and your surroundings. Are you or your passengers severely injured and need help immediately? Are any of the cars involved in the accident, including your car on fire, smoking, leaking fluid, etc.? If so, call 9-1-1 now, turn your engine off and get to the side of the road as fast and as safely as possible with your passengers.

If not, take pictures or videos of the immediate aftermath of the accident, injuries, vehicles, etc. Safeguard the camera SD card or cards, and move the vehicle to a safe nearby location. Be sure to wave the other car to the location as well so that they know you are not attempting to abscond or drive away.

Once you are safe

Once you are safe, turn on your hazards and call 911. Before you call, keep in mind that 911 dispatchers are now trained to only dispatch to injury or emergency scenes, not what is believed to be “fender benders.” As such, do not mitigate the details. In addition, remember, the call is recorded and can be used against you, so keep the details to a minimum. Give them your name, phone number and location. Tell them you are injured, the extent of your injuries (if known), if anyone else is injured (if known), that you need an ambulance, police and fire, if needed.

While you wait

While you wait, get the information from the other driver, such as their insurance and vehicle and any witnesses. When the Charlotte, North Carolina, first responders arrive, get their information, along with how to get their reports. Remember, your lawyer will need everything.