With over seven million car accidents occurring on the streets and highways of the United States every year, the number of victims has also increased significantly. Fortunately, some of these accidents only result in property damage, while others involve serious personal injuries. However, recent statistics show that one in every three car accidents results in personal injuries to the driver or passengers, and about 1% of these accidents lead to fatalities.
Despite the alarming numbers, drivers can prepare themselves by knowing what to do in the event of a car accident. If you sustain serious or permanent injuries, following the right procedures will ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable. It is crucial to remain calm and follow the appropriate steps when involved in a motor vehicle accident. Even seemingly minor details can make a significant difference in a car accident lawsuit.
Here are some key things to keep in mind and actions to take when involved in a car accident:
After an accident, it is common for drivers to move their vehicles to a safer or more convenient location. However, in the case of a major wreck, particularly where fault may be questioned, it is crucial to leave the vehicles where they are. It is essential to document the exact placement of the vehicles at rest for a biomechanical or physics expert to determine fault accurately. Regardless of your role in the accident, you should never drive away from the scene, no matter how minor it may seem. Leaving the scene may result in criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident, and you may be held accountable for the accident. Proving your innocence in such a scenario can be an uphill task.
In case of an accident, it is common practice to call the police if multiple injuries require immediate medical attention. However, even if there are no apparent injuries, it is still advisable to call and notify the local police about the accident. Injuries may not surface immediately, especially in the case of neck and back pain. It is essential to remember that during your claim, your personal injury lawyer will require a formal police report as evidence.
Record keeping is crucial when seeking compensation after a car accident. When the police arrive at the scene, engage with the investigating officers and provide them with all the information to the best of your knowledge and ability. Avoid guessing or speculating any facts if you are unsure about a certain aspect. Also, make sure to write down the police report number so that you can receive a copy of the report in a few days.
If you have a camera on your dashboard or your phone, it is essential to take photos of the vehicles involved in the accident, particularly if there are visible dents or damages. You should also take pictures if you sustained visible injuries. However, you should ensure that you do not interfere with the investigations being carried out by the police while doing so. It is essential to take photos of the scene, the other driver’s license plate, driver’s license, and insurance card. Additionally, if you have any visible injuries such as bleeding or bruising, take photos of them. You should also obtain the names and addresses of all the witnesses to the accident. Witnesses play a critical role in your claim, and having their contact information will be immensely helpful.
In some motor vehicle accidents, injuries may not appear to be an emergency. You may experience body soreness. However, if the pain persists after a couple of days, it is highly advisable to seek professional medical attention to fully understand any potential longer-lasting injuries, such as disc herniation or vertebral fractures. If left untreated, these injuries can become more severe or permanent.
As soon as an accident occurs, it is important to inform your insurance company as soon as possible. Most insurance companies require prompt notification of the accident. By reporting the accident, your insurance company can set up a claim and also communicate with the insurance company of the other driver involved.
One of the most valuable assets you can have after a car accident is a personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will help protect your rights by ensuring that no evidence is lost or tampered with. In addition, having an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you will alleviate the stress of the legal process. Before pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, we strongly advise that you schedule a free consultation with an attorney to discuss your options moving forward.