One of the benefits of living in the USA is the ability of most people to own and operate their own vehicles. We often take it for granted, but there are 276 million vehicles registered in the U.S.
91% of households have access to a vehicle. In addition, 85% of Americans get to work by car.
With such widespread use, the risks of being involved in a car accident are inevitably pretty high.
According to coverhound.com:
“Many drivers might feel invulnerable behind the wheel, but the reality is motorists file insurance claims roughly once every 17.9 years, according to Fox Business.
While this might seem like a long time for younger drivers, this means by the age of 34, every person driving since they were 16 are likely to have filed at least one car insurance claim.
By the time a person reaches 70, they will have filed roughly three claims on average throughout their life if they started driving at the age of 16.”
Chances are, you or a loved one will find the following information useful at some point in time.
Car accidents can be stressful, especially when some people are injured. People can also sometimes be volatile and aggressive. Try to keep your wits about you and stay clear of shouting matches and blame games with the other party.
The most important thing is to assist anyone injured and call 911 immediately to provide professional medical assistance.
Realize that your situation may have legal consequences, so it’s best to say as little as possible.
Do not admit any form of guilt even if you believe that you are guilty or feel that you caused the accident.
Make sure that you do the following
You must do your best to gather information and record your version of the accident as soon as possible. While you are at the accident scene, take the opportunity to:
Wait for the police to arrive
Do not leave the accident scene unless you are taken away by medics due to a physical emergency.
Make sure that you give your version of events to the police when they ask you for a statement. However, do not exaggerate for effect and stick to the basic facts.
Collect information from the other driver and witnesses
If possible, get the contact details, id number, license number, insurance details, and cell phone number of the other driver.
Record witness names and contact numbers, and don’t assume that these will be recorded in the police report. It’s also good to record the witness version of what they saw, as this may be important later.
Since most cell phones have great cameras these days, it’s a good idea to take photos of the accident scene before any vehicles have been moved.
Consult with an attorney as soon as possible, especially if you have suffered any injuries
It is critical to consult with an attorney who specializes in personal injury claims resulting from motor vehicle accidents.
Most attorneys who specialize in personal injury claims will consult at no charge. If they believe the client has a worthwhile claim, they will act on a contingency basis, meaning legal fees will only be charged if they win the client’s case and recover a monetary award.
Your attorney will handle all communication with insurance companies leaving you to concentrate on recovering from your injuries.
Hamilton car accident lawyer, Matt Lalande, says “never let the insurance company adjuster take control and dictate your case. You need someone on your side from day one to help you make decisions, get the proper insurance in place, hire the proper occupational therapy team, help get you home, make sure your home is a safe environment when you return and make sure money is coming in. Insurance companies are not your friends. You need an advocate and at my firm, it’s always free to talk to us.”
Document your version of the accident as well as your treatment and recovery
As soon as possible after the accident, commit your version of the accident to paper – it may prove invaluable later when your memory struggles to remember finer details.
Document all of your treatments as well as your physical issues as they develop. It often takes time for injuries to surface after the accident. See the relevant doctors and get examination reports for your records.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should consult with a lawyer before deciding whether to claim for damages. You will receive advice on whether you have a claim, roughly the extent of that claim, and your chances of success.