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Best practices for following up a car accident

Although most car accidents don’t result in fatalities or life-changing injuries, drivers should follow up every accident in a diligent, thorough manner. Failing to do so could leave you with a lack of insurance coverage, criminal charges or substantial debt. The next time you find yourself involved in an auto accident in Minnesota, keep these tips in mind.

Know when to move your vehicle

In addition to injuring people and property, car accidents clog up roadways. Just like you, the state of Minnesota doesn’t appreciate when drivers obstruct traffic. According to the Minnesota Statutes, all drivers involved in car accidents should stop to investigate them “without unnecessarily obstructing traffic.”

If possible, move your vehicle somewhere that doesn’t obstruct traffic. However, you should not do this if you can’t move your car to a safe location.

Report the accident in a timely manner

You should contact your insurance company to report your auto accident as soon as possible. Forgetting to make this report could prevent you from receiving financial coverage from your insurer.

Your insurance agency isn’t the only place you should report your accident to. In the state of Minnesota, drivers involved in accidents that cause death, bodily injury or at least $1,000 of property damage must formally report them to the Department of Public Safety within 10 days.

Get information from other drivers

After moving your vehicle to a safe spot, record the other driver’s personal information. You’ll need their:

  • License plate number
  • Insurance company name
  • Policy number
  • Driver’s license number
  • Name
  • Mailing address or email address
  • Phone number

Don’t forget to document the accident

The human memory erodes quickly. Even if you think an accident is truly unforgettable, don’t trust your memory to remember the details. Whether you use your phone or a pen and paper, write down what happened immediately before the crash. Note any other details that you think are important. Take pictures of the car accident from multiple angles, too.

In some cases, injured drivers or passengers sue other drivers in civil court. If you feel that a negligent driver wronged you, don’t attempt to file a personal injury lawsuit without an attorney.

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