Being involved in a car accident can be a daunting experience. When another driver is at fault, it can be overwhelming to determine what you should do next.
If you find yourself in such a situation because the other driver ran a stop sign, it is important that you understand what your options are.
Ensure safety first
After any collision, prioritize safety. Move your vehicle to a safe location if possible, and turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers. Check for injuries, both for yourself and others involved. Seek medical attention as soon as you can, even if you do not notice any pain or symptoms right away.
Exchange necessary information with the other driver. Obtain their name, contact details, and insurance information. Document the accident scene by taking pictures of both vehicles and the surrounding area.
Report the incident
Reporting an accident to the police is part of being a responsible motorist. Even if the accident seems minor, having an official record can be helpful for insurance purposes. Obtaining a police report can also strengthen your case when you seek compensation from the at-fault driver.
Notify your insurance company
Contact your insurance company to report the accident as soon as possible. Provide them with the details and information you collected. Continue to stay in communication with your insurance company throughout the claims process.
Know your rights
Every car accident is different and has its own legal implications. When another driver hits you while they are running a stop sign, for example, the process of proving fault is different than an accident that happens in a parking lot or on the open highway. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your insurance policy and the coverage it provides.
Data from the New Jersey Department of Transportation shows that there were 48,962 injury crashes statewide in 2021. Running a stop sign is just one example of negligent behavior that can lead to catastrophic injuries and one for which you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages.