Car accidents happen. In fact, on average, it is estimated that an American citizen is in an auto accident six times during his or her lifetime. There were 6.4 million automobile accidents in the U.S. during 2005, the latest statistic available. However, the National Highway Transportation Safety Board’s early estimate is that 34,000 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2009. Since there is a likely chance that you will be involved in a car accident in your lifetime, we’ve listed some tips for you know about car accidents.
1) Remain at the scene of the car accident. Whether there is injury or property damage or not, it is important to stay at the scene until the police give you permission to go. A person who leaves an accident scene prematurely can be cited and even charged criminally. It is better to wait and take the extra time to give an incident report to the police than to later find yourself in deep trouble.
2) At the car accident scene, do not move or administer first aid to anyone who is injured. You set yourself up for greater liability if something goes wrong and you are held responsible. Turn your car emergency flashers on and call 911, letting the trained first-responders handle the rest.
3) Get the necessary accident information: The other driver’s name, address, driver’s license number, license plate number; any witness information; police officer’s name, badge number, incident report number; location information, cross streets, road conditions, weather, and any other pertinent information about the car accident that could be forgotten over time. Know that this information may be used in the case of litigation, whether you are suing or being sued, so it’s essential to be thorough and truthful.
4) Do not admit fault, even if you believe you are at fault. As well, do not admit liability. These admissions could come back to haunt you. Try your best, even with your emotions running high, to leave blame-assigning to the police and insurance companies.
5) Moreover, make statements only to the police at the accident scene. Keep to the facts.
6) Seek medical help. It is typical to think you are unhurt after the adrenaline rush of a car accident. Often symptoms are masked initially. It is wise in a moderate to serious accident to consult a physician to rule out head, neck or body injuries that may have resulted from the car accident. If you have disorientation, nausea, confusion ear ringing, or dizziness, you need to see a doctor immediately.
7) If you are even slightly injured, obtain medical care as soon as is possible. Often times, injuries suffered at the scene seem slight and can end up being quite serious. Immediate medical attention can prevent major problems from developing.
8) Contact an attorney to learn about your legal rights before you speak with an insurance adjuster.
Car accidents, even minor ones, can be stressful and traumatic, but remaining calm and remembering the aforementioned guidelines will help you to pass it confidently while minimizing potential loss.
If your child or a loved one has been seriously injured because of a car accident, contact Burton Padove for a free consultation at 219-836-2200 or 877-446-5294 for nationwide callers.