Will This New Car Accident Law Save Your Life?

As of July 1st, 2016, there is a new accident law in the state of Indiana that will take effect. Unless you are in a serious motor vehicle accident, the state will require that all drivers move their vehicles off the road and to a safe location after the accident. While this may not sound like a good thing, it could be one of the best laws created so far. When vehicles sit on the road after an accident, they actually increase the likelihood of further collisions or, worse, further injuries for already injured victims. Recent studies from the Traffic Incident Management Effort in Indiana found that 22 percent of collisions are caused by another accident. This new law will now establish a $500 fine for those who do not move their vehicles (when they are operable) out of traffic’s way.

Do Not Let Car Accident Myths

One reason people why do not move their vehicles is because they are giving into the common myths associated with car accidents. They will assume that if they move their vehicle, they will be considered “leaving the scene” of the accident and face jail time. This is not the case. As long as the accident is reported and you move the vehicles to a safe location while reporting such, you are not leaving the scene of the accident. Instead, you are preventing further injuries to yourself or others.

Also, another myth is that if you move the vehicles, you will not be able to accurately determine fault. This is also not true. While it may seem like you cannot tell who was at-fault for the accident if the vehicles are moved, technology and accident scene analysis has certainly come a long way – and police officers are more than capable of identifying what happened. Also, witness testimony can help determine what happened in the accident and identify who was at-fault, even if the vehicles are moved.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident

If you are involved in a car accident, it is important that you know what steps to take to not only protect yourself, but preserve the evidence in the event that you need to file a personal injury claim. These steps include:

  1. Checking everyone for serious injuries. The first thing that you need to do is assess yourself for serious injuries, as well as the other party involved. If there are any serious or life-threatening injuries, call 911 immediately.
  2. Report the accident. The next step is to contact the local police department and report the accident. If you will be moving the vehicles, let them know that you are relocating the vehicles. Also, tell them where the accident happened, as well as the location where you will be moving.
  3. Wait for the police to arrive. Do not leave the scene or the area you relocated to. Instead, stay and wait for the police to arrive. If the police have advised you to collect insurance and contact information, then do so. Sometimes, police will not arrive to rear-end collisions or non-serious accidents if they do not have the availability. But, you can only leave the scene if you are instructed to do so.
  4. Get witness information. Lastly, gather witness information so that you or your attorney can contact them later for a statement. Just get their contact information for now – you can formally interview them later.

Speak with an Accident Attorney

After a car accident, contact an accident attorney to explore your options. You may be entitled to compensation under the law – especially if the other driver was acting negligently. To explore your options, contact Jacobs Law, LLC today. We offer free accident consultations, so schedule yours at (317) 794-2024, or fill out our online contact form with your questions.