Dan Brennan* Car accidents are the major cause of death among healthy citizens in the United States, with over 40,000 fatal accidents each year and 1.24 million globally.
On average over 2 million US drivers receive some injury through auto accidents (check the infographic below for more stats on the auto accident details).
Those are sobering statistics, but it is also a warning for those injured in auto accident who need to take legal action.
The first thing to do in an accident is to check if others are okay and to call 911 if there are serious injuries. If there are none, then proceed to call 911 anyway to have police dispatched to your location to assess the situation and issue a police report, which will be needed by your insurance company and lawyer.
After dialing 911, there are some things you can do that you can provide to your attorney. Gathering evidence at the scene is the first step.
Take Pictures of Injuries and Damage
You almost can’t take too many pictures at the scene of the accident. First of all, you want to get pictures of the vehicles involved, with the license plates of each vehicle involved clearly visible in at least some of the photographs to ensure that each vehicle will be clearly identified when the photos are examined for evidence.
You will want to take a variety of closeup shots to capture the details of the damage or injuries, as well as medium and wide shots to capture the whole scene. Again, you want to take plenty of pictures.
These images are vital to reconstructing the scene of the accident. You also want to take pictures of any obstructions or objects that you believe led to the accident, such as a blocked stop sign.
If the accident can be traced to overgrown bushes or tree branches, then you will be glad you captured the evidence before it was mowed down or cut. If there is a yield sign or only two stop signs at an intersection, then this can help to prove who the at-fault driver is.
All injuries must be documented with photographs. You will want to continue taking pictures of the injuries well after being medically released to chart the progress of your healing, in case it needs to be brought up in court.
In addition to the police report, you want to get the following information:
- The name, address, best contact number and email address and car insurance information (name of the company, their telephone number, and the policy number) of the other driver involved in the accident.
- The names and contact information for the other passengers in the other vehicle(s)
- The contact information for any witnesses and bystanders.
Do Not Turn Down Medical Care
Even if you think you’re okay, get checked out anyway. Many symptoms of injuries in the neck and back don’t appear for several hours or even days after an accident. By then it will be harder to prove that a medical claim reported later was related to the accident and not some other event.
Contact Insurance Companies
Even if you are not at fault, you are obligated to notify your insurance provider of an auto accident involving the insured vehicle and any injured occupants. You will also want to contact the other driver’s insurance company to receive the claim number, or numbers if there is a claim for personal injury and property damage.
Nobody hopes to get in a car accident. Traffic collisions in the San Diego area are common because of the dense population. Unfortunately, all too often injury and death can result from these accidents.
Having experienced legal assistance is undoubtedly the key step anyone injured in an auto accident needs to do.
Injury Trial Lawyers in San Diego provide expert injury law expertise. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident then speak to experienced lawyer Richard Morse about your claim. Richard Morse is a highly experienced injury lawyer with an extensive knowledge of dealing with insurance companies and attorneys representing them.
*Dan Brennan writes on legal issues affecting consumers with a strong interest in public interest and consumer protection law issues.