Approximately 6 million car accidents occur each year in the United States and roughly one in three accidents involve personal injury to one of the people involved. Since there is a very high chance that you will be in a car accident at some point in your life, it is critical to always be prepared when on the road.
Tips to Help you be Prepared in Case of a Car Accident
- Don’t forget to wear your seat belt!
- Drive safe and avoid distractions, put down the smart phone and don’t drive under the influence of alcohol.
- Always keep your car insurance and health insurance information in your car. Keep a copy of your medication and allergy information with you.
- Add important emergency numbers in your cell phone including your car insurance contact and medical providers.
- Carry a pen and paper with you to record information if there is a car accident.
- Keep emergency items like a flashlight, first aid kit, and jumper cables in your car.
Tips to Help You Immediately After a Car Accident
- Stop. Never leave the scene of an accident until it is appropriate to do so.
- Protect the scene. Get off the road and stay out of the way of traffic after an accident, many fatalities on the road occur when drivers and passengers are hit by another vehicle following a minor accident. Check on all drivers and passengers to make sure everyone involved in the accident is okay. Get medical attention for anyone who needs it.
- Call the Police. Even if there are no serious injuries, it is a good idea to call the police to build a record of the accident. Ask that a police report be filed in situations where police arrive at the scene, and obtain the names and badge numbers of the responding officers.
- Make an accurate record. When the police arrive, make sure you tell them exactly what happened, to the best of your ability. Do not speculate, guess or misstate any of the facts. If you are asked if you are injured and you are not sure, say you are not sure, rather than no. Often, the pain and injuries from motor vehicle accidents become apparent hours after the actual collision. Get contact information for witnesses and a detailed account of what they saw. Pay attention and record the details, including the weather, road conditions, and anything else you feel could be important.
- Take pictures. Take pictures of the vehicles if there is visible damage. If you have visible injuries, you should photograph them as well. Photograph the scene of the accident. You cannot take too many photographs.
- Exchange information. You should record the name, address and telephone number of all persons involved in the accident, drivers and passengers included, especially if the police do not arrive at the scene. You should also obtain information about insurance by asking to see the insurance card for all vehicles involved in the accident. In talking to other drivers, try to be cordial and cooperative.
- Report the accident. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Find out if you have medical benefits as part of your insurance coverage. You pay extra for that type of coverage – known as “medpay” – so if you have it you should use it. Medpay benefits are available to all the occupants of the vehicle.
- Don’t talk to the other side’s insurance company until you first speak with a lawyer. Don’t talk to anyone about the accident other than your lawyer, your insurance company, and the police. Do not post anything on social media about your accident because the insurance companies will find the post and use it against you on your claim. Most importantly do not admit fault to the accident.
- Go to the Emergency Room immediately for treatment if injured in a car accident. Any gap in medical treatment or missed doctor appointments could hurt your personal injury claim so do not miss doctor appointments. Keep a detailed account of the treatments and medications you receive and record how your injuries have impacted your daily life.
- Protect your rights. Perhaps the most important thing you should do after a
car accident is to consult your attorney. The claims handlers for the other side are trained to protect the profits of their insurance company employers, therefore its important that you have an attorney in your corner protecting your rights after a car accident.
If you have any questions about accidents with a car, truck, or motorcycle, contact KC Road Lawyers LLC by calling 816-425-2420 or by navigating to our contact page for a free consultation to determine if you have a claim.