Call the Police and Wait for Them
Once you have moved to a safe location, and encouraged the driver who hit you to remain at the scene of the accident with you, the next thing that you should do is to call the police and wait for them to arrive.
If you or another party has suffered serious injuries, do not prioritize getting the other driver to stay; instead, you should dial 911 immediately to get medical care as soon as possible.
Talking to the Police Operator
When you call the police, there are a few pieces of information you should be prepared to provide. Most importantly, you will need to:
- Give the police operator your location. Be as precise as possible.
- Report whether or not anyone is injured. If someone is injured, give as many details as possible. The police operator should guide you through what steps to take next. If you are injured and need emergency care, do not hesitate to make this know.
As you talk to the police operator, try to remain calm and collected. Crying, yelling, or panicking on the phone will only make it harder for the operator to understand you and provide you with service, delaying the amount of time it takes officers to reach you.
If you do not have a mobile device on you at the time of crash that allows you to place a call to police to report the accident, ask the other driver to please do so. If the other driver is unavailable, flag down a nearby person and ask to use the phone. The good news is that when accidents occur that are witnessed by other people, there is often more than one person who calls it in.
Waiting for the Police to Arrive
As you wait for the police to arrive, you can make good use of your time by identifying anyone who may have been an eyewitness to the accident, collecting the driver’s information, and taking photos. You can also take notice of any potential injuries that you may have suffered.
Now is also a good time to review what happened and exactly what you were doing at the time that the other vehicle struck you. You will want to have your story straight by the time the police arrive so that you can file an accurate report. Don’t try to hide information (like deny that you were texting and looking down while walking across the street), but don’t feel as though you have to volunteer information that suggests you were negligent, either. If you are asked a question by an officer, answer honestly. If you don’t know the answer, say, “I don’t know.”
It is also important to make sure that you are out of the way of traffic and are waiting in a safe location. Depending upon the circumstances, the driver of the vehicle that hit you may need to move their vehicle to allow for traffic to continue flowing.