It’s just a minor accident tips on what you should do

It’s just a minor accident tips on what you should do

Very few people start out the day saying, “I’m going to crash my car today.” However, with more people getting on the roads, and driver’s having more distractions, you never know when it could happen to you.

If it does happen to you, the police need to be called if the crash results in any of the following:

(1) Someone is injured or killed;

(2) There is more than $2500 damage to any vehicle or property;

(3) Any vehicle is damaged to the extent that the vehicle must be towed from the scene. If you don’t know how much damage is done, or you need help exchanging information with other driver(s), call the police.

If you are involved in a fender bender that doesn’t meet the above requirements for police notification, Oregon Revised Statue 811.700 (Failure to perform duties of driver when property is damaged) provides guidance for what information is required to be shared with the other involved parties.

First, you should immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the crash or as close thereto as possible.

Second, make sure everyone involved is okay. Just because the people in your car are okay doesn’t mean somebody else isn’t seriously hurt. If anybody is seriously hurt, don’t move your car. You should also check to see if your car is drivable. If everyone is okay and you can still drive your car, you should pull to the shoulder or not obstruct traffic more than is necessary.

If you don’t move your car after a minor, non-injury crash you could be violating Oregon Revised Statue 811.717 Failure to remove motor vehicle from roadway. It states the driver of a motor vehicle commits the offense of failure to remove a motor vehicle from the roadway if, after a crash:

(a) A person has not suffered any apparent personal injury as a result of the crash;

(b) The motor vehicle is operable and does not require towing;

(c) It is safe to drive the motor vehicle to a location off of the roadway as close to the crash scene as possible; and

(d) The driver does not move the motor vehicle to a location off of the roadway as close to the crash scene as possible.

It is a Class C traffic violation and could cost you $165.

So, you have parked your car on the shoulder and everybody is okay. It is time to exchange information. You are required to give everyone involved the following (you should also get the same information from everyone else):

(1) Your name and address, and the name and address of any passengers in your vehicle;

(2) The registration number of your vehicle (license plate number, make and model, and color);

(3) Name of insurance carrier and the insurance policy number;

(4) Your driver’s license number (you are required to, upon request, show your driver’s license).

There are a few other things that are helpful to exchange:

(1) Phone numbers for everyone in your car;

(2) If you are borrowing the car, the owner’s name, address and phone number;

(3) Witness names, addresses, and phone numbers.

If you didn’t need to call the police, you don’t need to complete an Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report (DMV Crash report). However, if one of the involved parties files a crash report with DMV, the other involved driver(s) will need to as well.

After you have exchanged all required information, you are free to leave. Be sure, though, to notify your insurance provider of the incident, per your policy requirements.

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