Car accidents happen in fractions of seconds. No one expects to be involved in a collision, and thus many drivers find themselves completely overwhelmed in the aftermath of a crash - especially when they're dealing with extensive property damage and serious injuries. Our Cape Girardeau car accident attorneys want you to be equipped with the knowledge you'll need under these circumstances, just in case the unexpected happens to you.
Being prepared for a Missouri car accident...
• The best offense is a good defense - it's an old cliché, but it's especially applicable here. Take simple steps to ensure you're driving safely: wear your seatbelt; avoid distractions; don't drink and drive; keep an eye on your speed. Unfortunately, these measures won't guarantee that you'll always be able to avoid an accident, but they will give you better odds. What's more, if a collision does occur, your chances of escaping serious injury are much higher.
• Be sure you carry your insurance card with you at all times - apart from being good common sense, it's also state law. Also, it's a good idea to keep a pencil and notepad in your vehicle so you can write down important information. After a collision, you'll need the other driver's name, address, phone number, license plate number, and insurance info.
• Take some time to program important phone numbers into your phone: i.e., your doctor, your car insurance company, emergency contacts, etc.
• If your cell phone doesn't have a camera, keep a disposable camera in your glove compartment.
• Your top priorities should be getting yourself out of harm's way and calling 911. If possible, you'll also want to move your vehicle out of the roadway so it doesn't cause an additional crash. Also, it's crucial that you move away from the road to exchange information with other drivers. Many accident fatalities are caused when drivers leave their vehicles following minor accidents only to be struck by oncoming vehicles.
• While you'll want to collect contact and insurance information from other drivers, passengers, and witnesses, we advise that you avoid commenting on the accident to others. Accidents are upsetting, and it's common for drivers to say things like "it was partly my fault," simply because they're trying to be kind. Admitting to any measure of fault - especially when you are not the at-fault driver - can potentially cause problems for you down the line.
• If possible, take photographs of everything: the general area where the accident occurred; any signage or road obstructions; car damage; traffic lights; weather conditions; and/or skid marks. If you're using a cell phone camera, make sure the photos are time-stamped.
• Jot down your observations of roadway conditions, weather, and any remarks made by other drivers, passengers, and witnesses.
• If you are injured, seek medical treatment immediately, and save documentation of that treatment. Remember that symptoms of soft-tissue injuries - like whiplash - sometimes take hours or even days to show up. If you're experiencing any pain or discomfort, get checked out: better safe than sorry.
In addition to pain, suffering, and worry, car accident injuries can generate enormous expenses. If you have questions about a personal injury lawsuit connected to a car crash, contact the lawyers at Aaron Sachs and Associates to schedule a free initial consultation. You can reach our office at 1-888-777-AUTO.Attorney meetings by appointment only