What To Do When In An Automobile Accident
In 2002, there were an estimated 6.3 million car accidents in the United States. About 2.9 million injuries and 42,815 people were reported killed in auto accidents.
Every year, the rates are increasing. More and more, people are getting injured, if not killed, from automobile accidents.
Unfortunately, most of us will experience this type of accident at some time. That’s why it is important for us to know certain things that will provide significant assistance when we are in a car accident.
Remain at the scene of the accident.
If you are in an auto accident involving injury, or substantial damage to property, stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive and tell you that you can leave. There are laws requiring people involved to stay put and wait for the police to arrive and investigate. Leaving the scene of the accident can get your license revoked, or worse, your behavior can result to criminal charges.
Protect the injured.
If you are trained in providing first aid, administer if somebody is injured. However, it is important to remember never to move an injured person. Moving him/her may result to further damage. Ask for somebody to contact the police and report the incident. The person to contact the police should inform that people are injured, and if possible, the number of persons injured so that there will be enough emergency personnel to respond to the accident. If the accident occurred on the roadway, turn on your flashers, or use flares to warn approaching traffic of the accident.
In any accident, it is important to get information that you will use later on, especially during your insurance claim. The following are the information you should know:
The other driver’s name, address, driver’s license number, insurance information, and license plate number.
If there are witnesses, get their names, addresses, and telephone numbers.
Ask for a business card from the police officer who investigated the traffic scene. Also get the “incident number” so that you can obtain an accident report. Most officers will provide you with the information even if you don’t ask.
Take note of the location—the road conditions, speed limits, traffic control devices, the weather, and the lighting.
Take note of how the accident occurred—the direction of travel of the vehicles involved, and what the cars are doing at the time of the accident. It is significant to note that you will be asked to share your notes with the person you are suing or the person who is suing you if the accident may result to litigation.
Never admit liability.
Even if you believe you are at fault, do not admit liability. There may be other factors which you don’t know that may turn the fault to the other driver. Do not make statements, on print or tape, to anybody at the accident scene, except for the police. Nevertheless, when speaking to the police, tell them only the facts of what happened. Let them make their own conclusion from the facts.
Seek medical care.
See a doctor. This is to eliminate the probability of the inability to obtain “no fault” benefits for your injuries. There are statutes in every state pertaining to what the insurance can cover. If you do not see a doctor, you might find later on that the insurance company or the other driver involved in the accident argue that your injuries were not related to the accident. In addition, the “adrenaline rush” from the accident can mask symptoms, which a physical examination can otherwise reveal.
Tell the doctor your symptoms— any loss of memory, headache, blood or fluid in the ear, dizziness, disorientation, ringing in the ears, nausea, confusion, or any other unusual physical or mental feeling.
It is best to be safe. Report your symptoms so that a medical expert can rule out the possibility of a much greater damage.
Dealing with automobile accidents can be overwhelming, especially of you are not aware of the ins and outs of the legalities regarding this problem. So if you or a family member is a victim or have suffered from an automobile accident, it is better to have a reliable and competent lawyer to assist you in your claims. The lawyer will provide you the opportunity for a fair outcome, as well as recover damages that you deserve.