If I am in a crash with another car, but I am OK, and the other driver seems all right, can I just drive away?
If you drive away from an accident, without checking in with the other driver, or waiting for the police, you can be charged with hit and run. It’s better for you to stay around for a few minutes. Injuries are not always apparent at first, and if something serious occurred, you will want to both give and gather information.
What do you mean by “gather information?”
If the accident was serious in any way you will want to file a claim for compensation. If you can’t present evidence of what happened and indicate that negligence played a part in the crash, compensation may be impossible.
We recommend that you collect critical information AND jot down observations while they are fresh in your mind.
Do obtain the names of all drivers involved, plus their license numbers, addresses, and phone information. Get the names of other occupants of the other cars involved. Write down the time and location of the accident. When you speak with the police, get the officer’s name and badge number.
What were the weather conditions?
If the other driver appeared drunk or high, tell the police immediately, so they can be tested.
Did the other driver make a statement admitting responsibility for the crash, or give an excuse like, “I was late for work” or “I should have been wearing my glasses?”
Was there an obvious pre-existing problem with the other vehicle, such as a broken headlight or obstructed window?
What other kind of evidence can I gather?
If you have a cellphone camera, take a picture of the accident, showing both vehicles from different angles, and any tire marks on the road. Take pictures of anyone obviously injured.
What else should I be aware of? Should I see a doctor?
Tend to yourself. Go to the emergency room and have your injuries examined and documented.
Report the accident to your insurance company.
Do not speak to representatives of the other driver’s insurance carrier. Tell them, “Talk to my attorney.” And call the Cleveland car accident lawyers at Bashein & Bashein Company, L.P.A., in Cleveland, Ohio, at 216-771-3239.