Every day, over 16,000 car accidents occur in the United States. Fortunately, most of them do not result in bodily injury. However, one in three accidents does result in injuries and two out of ten result in death. As a car accident law firm, many of these accident cases come across our desk.
If you have been involved in a car accident, there are steps that you can take to protect yourself and your interests. Here are just a few:
Stay On Scene & Make Sure To Record Evidence
Even if you think that it is just a small accident that won’t result in any damage, you absolutely need to stop. Do not leave the scene of the accident. Even once you have talked to the other driver and assessed your car, there are a few steps you want to take before you get on with the rest of your day.
Call the police, even if there aren’t any serious injuries. You can use the police report to file a claim with your insurance company. Make sure that you are honest and open with the police about what happened. If you do not know something, do not speculate. If you are asked a yes or no question and you do not definitively know the answer, say that. If you have your phone on you, make sure to take pictures of the road conditions, visible damage to the car, bodily injuries, and anything else that you deem appropriate. Do not get in the way of any existing investigation, but make sure you get your own information.
Protect The Scene
As soon as you assess your own safety, protect the scene of the accident. Set up flares or put your flashers on as soon as you can. If it is dark and your lights won’t work, attempt to set up flashlights or use the flashlight application on your phone. With whatever you use, be sure not to shine the light directly into the eyes of oncoming motorists.
Typically, you will call the police and they will facilitate the exchange of information. However, if there isn’t a police response, you should make sure to get the name, phone number, and address of everyone involved, including passengers. If there are witnesses, you should get this information from them as well. If the police do respond, make sure you get badge numbers.
Seek Medical Attention – Even If You Think You Don’t Need It
After an accident, it is common for your adrenaline to be flowing and you don’t notice that you sustained any injuries. Sometimes, those injuries won’t be evident until a few hours after the accident. Unless you are absolutely sure that you did not get injured in the accident, you should follow up with a family physician or go to an emergency room. Injuries to the spinal cord, neck, or head can be dangerous and cause problems later on in life. If you lose consciousness, were dazed, or had a headache after the accident, you may have suffered a severe closed head injury.
Always seek medical attention for children who are involved in accidents.
Make sure that you keep everything that you’ve gathered in a file. Print out the pictures as soon as you can, make copies, and back everything up digitally. You can never be too organized when it comes to your accident. Make sure to include a claim number, the name of the adjuster who is handling the claim, and the names and phone numbers of everyone involved.
You should also keep receipts for medical treatment, rental cars, and other expenses incurred as a result of the car accident.
Were You Involved In A Car Accident?
If you were injured in an accident, you do have a right to fight for fair compensation. If you are suffering after an accident, contact Matthew G Miller, an accident and injury attorney with experience, who can help to overcome your struggles, give you peace of mind, and come away with the compensation you deserve. Call us now at (402) 558-4900.