Whether commuting to and from work or dropping off children at practice, the typical American motorist drives approximately 30 miles per day, making two trips with an average total duration of 46 minutes. (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the Urban Institute). Nobody anticipates getting into an automobile accident, but the reality is that most motorists will experience some type of car accident sooner or later. The best mindset for motorists is to expect the unexpected. Accordingly, motorists should be prepared how to properly react in case of an automobile accident.
First and foremost, the health and welfare of everyone involved in the accident is paramount. If you, a passenger, or the driver of the other vehicle is seriously injured, do not attempt to move. Immediately call 911 or the local police department and inform them of the extent of the injuries and the location of the accident. If nobody is seriously injured and the vehicle has only sustained minor damage, turn on the hazard lights then safely move the vehicle to the shoulder of the road away from traffic.
While waiting for the police to arrive at the scene of the accident, you need to gather as much information as possible. Exchange the following information with all parties involved in the automobile accident: name, phone number, and address for each driver, passenger, and witness; insurance company and policy details; and year, make, model, and owner of each vehicle. Although it’s essential to communicate with all parties involved in the car accident, be careful to limit communication to the exchange of the aforementioned information. Regardless of the situation, never admit fault and do not offer any form of apology. If you have a cellular phone with a camera, take pictures of the accident location and property damage of all vehicles.
Once the authorities arrive, they will question all parties involved, facilitate any necessary exchange of additional information, and potentially issue citations to one or all drivers. After dealing with the police, promptly contact your insurance company and report the accident. If you have sustained any personal injuries, seek medical attention in a timely fashion. Finally, you should consult with an attorney to discuss a potential claim or lawsuit.
If you have sustained property damage or personal injuries in an automobile accident, please call Ryan J. Muldoon at Simpson Legal Group, LLC, at (712) 256-9899 for legal advice to properly protect your interests.