What To Do After a Car Accident in Arizona
You are a careful driver who generally obeys the speed limit and follows all of Arizona’s driving rules and laws. However, even the most careful drivers can be involved in a motor vehicle accident. If this happens to you, it is important that you know what to do. Keep this checklist that our Arizona personal injury law firm has prepared of what to do after a car accident in Arizona handy in your glove compartment so that you can refer to it if this ever occurs.
- As soon as the accident occurs, stop your vehicle. Pull up as close to the accident as safely as possible and try not to obstruct traffic.
- Assess your health and the health of everyone in the vehicle. Ask them if they are injured, and assess yourself to see how you feel.
- Do not leave the scene of the accident. If the other party involved in the accident seems to be showing hostility, do not leave your car. If they are not showing hostility, you may, if able, leave your vehicle to check on their well-being.
- After you have assessed the situation and everyone involved, call 911. If there are any injuries to treat, these are first and foremost of the highest priority, so report them to the operator. You must also get police on the scene of the accident as soon as possible, because it is only with an official police report that you can establish who is at fault and the extent of any damages.
- Take photographs of both vehicles (including front, back, and both sides), the license plate of the other vehicle, the vehicle identification number of the other vehicle, the scene of the crash (including street signs, mile markers if available), any skid marks that are evident, and any debris on the street.
- Above all else, remain calm and polite. Gather witness information if you can, and if any witnesses cannot remain until police arrive.
- Exchange information with the other driver. This should include driver’s license, registration, and insurance information. Information that you need will be: the other party’s name, address and contact details, the other party’s official Arizona driver’s license number, the license plate number of their vehicle, and their auto insurance information. Otherwise, limit your interaction with the other party. Never say you are sorry, as they could later use this against you as an admission of fault.
- Notify your auto insurance company of the accident.
Will My Accident Automatically Be Reported to the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department?
In the state of Arizona, private citizens are not responsible for reporting accidents to the motor vehicle department (Arizona MVD). If necessary, the report will be made by the law enforcement officer who responded to the accident. The only times that law enforcement officers in Arizona must report accidents to the MVD is if the accident resulted in injury or death, if the accident resulted in damage to property over $1000, or if the accident resulted in them issuing a citation to anyone involved.
What Happens If I Leave the Scene of an Accident in Arizona?
You should never leave the scene of a vehicle accident in Arizona. Doing so could result in a Grade 2 or Grade 3 felony charge, as well as the suspension of your driver’s license.
When Should I Contact an Attorney?
It is always a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney when you are injured in a vehicle accident. Retain copies of any medical expenses that you incur as a result of the accident. Our Arizona personal injury law firm is ready and willing to help you if you are injured in an accident. Contact us today.