A car accident is one of the most traumatizing events a person in Michigan can experience. However, it’s important to stay calm, know what to do to ensure your safety and that of other people involved, and avoid making mistakes that could lead to legal trouble.
Move your vehicle to the side and call the police
If you’re able, the first thing you should do is move your vehicle to the side of the road. If you can’t move your car, turn on your hazard lights so that other drivers will be aware of your situation. Next, call 911 and report the accident. Be sure to give them your location and any information about injuries or damage. Note that it is illegal not to call the police after motor vehicle accidents in Michigan, especially when a person is injured or vehicle damage exceeds $1000.
Check for injuries
Check yourself, your passengers and other people involved in the accident for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call for medical help right away. Even if there don’t appear to be any serious injuries, it’s always a good idea to get checked out by a doctor, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
Exchange information with the other driver
You should get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, insurance company and policy number. It’s also highly recommended to take photos of the accident scene and obtain the contact details of any witnesses. You will need this information when you file a police report and an insurance claim.
Call your insurance company
As soon as possible after the accident, you should call your insurance company and let them know what happened. They will likely ask you for some of the same information that you gave to the police, so it’s helpful to have everything ready beforehand. Once you’ve filed a claim, your insurance company will help you through the process of getting your vehicle repaired or replaced.
Basically, everything you do or say at the accident scene can and may be used against you in court in case you or the other driver files a lawsuit, or your insurance company may use it to deny or minimize your claim. So, avoid doing or saying anything that could be used against you later on. For example, don’t apologize for the accident, as this can be interpreted as an admission of fault.