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What should I do after a car accident in Rhode Island?

The first thing a driver should remember to do after being involved in a car accident on Rhode Island is to stop their car. Leaving the scene of even a slight collision could result in a driver being handed a hit-and-run charge regardless of whether or not they caused the accident. If an operable vehicle is blocking traffic, the driver should pull their car over to a safe area.

The next thing that a driver should do is to alert emergency medical personnel about the car accident by dialing 911. If no one is hurt, drivers should still dial 911 in order to alert police. Next, a driver should let other cars on the road know that a wreck has occurred by putting their hazard lights on. The driver should stay inside of their vehicle while waiting for emergency workers.

When a police officer arrives on the scene, a driver may want to remember to obtain an accident report number from the officer. With this number, the driver will be able to purchase a crash report online when it becomes available. The driver may also request a crash report by mail from the Rhode Island State Police Accident Bureau.

Depending on the extent of the injuries a driver suffers during a car accident, it may not be possible for all drivers to follow all of the steps outlined in this blog. Therefore, the information presented here is not meant to be confused with legal advice. In the days following an accident, contacting an attorney may be another important step to complete if a driver wishes to seek compensation for his or her injuries. If another driver was at fault in the car crash, a lawyer may be able to help the non-liable party to file a personal injury claim.

Source: State of Rhode Island Department of Public Safety, "Motor Vehicle Accident Procedures"

Source: Rhode Island State Police, "Motor Vehicle Accident Procedures", October 06, 2014

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