The number of car accidents in the US is staggering, with statistics showing that around 6 million accidents will occur in any given year, leading to approximately 100 fatalities per day and countless injuries too. All the time, people are finding themselves in dangerous, life-threatening situations out on the road, and even when you drive safely, you still can’t completely erase the risks you face.
The truth is that there are a lot of reckless and negligent drivers out there, breaking the rules, taking their hands off the wheel, letting themselves get distracted, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and so on. These drivers make the roads more dangerous and scary for everyone else, contributing massively to those huge numbers outlined above.
The pain and suffering caused by car accidents can be immense; not only can lives literally be ended by these accidents, tearing families apart in the process, but even those who survive can struggle with life-altering physical injuries and mental trauma, including PTSD and life-long anxiety. With so many risks, it’s vital that you take the right steps if you ever find yourself in an accident to protect your rights and give yourself a chance of success in any legal cases that may arise later on.
The First Things To Do
To start off, the most important thing after any kind of accident is assessing the damage to yourself and any passengers you may be traveling with. Check that you feel okay and move slowly and carefully, as many car accidents can lead to neck injuries like whiplash, which can be immensely painful and make it very difficult to move at all.
If you’re too hurt to move or anyone else in the car is badly injured, stay in the vehicle and wait for the emergency services to arrive. If you are able to move, it’s wise to either move your car out of the way if you’re blocking the road or to simply get out of the vehicle and away to the side of the road, where it’s safe. Then, you can call the cops and report the incident.
As long as you’re able to get out of the vehicle and move around comfortably, take this time to document everything you can. Use your phone or a camera to snap some photos of the scene, photographing any damage that has been done to your vehicle, the site of the accident itself, and any physical injuries on your own body or your passengers.
It’s normal to feel quite panicked and stressed at this time, so it might be hard to remember this step and carry it out properly, but every photo you take and piece of evidence you gather could be useful later on. Your lawyer will be able to use this information to put together a winning case, and it’s also useful if you can speak to any witnesses in the area and ask them to submit statements to the police.
Get To The Doctor
Next up, it’s absolutely vital to see a doctor. Even if you don’t feel any pain or notice any injuries on your body, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re fine. In many cases, it takes a little time for these kinds of injuries to become apparent, and a lot of car accident victims find that they only start feeling pain a day or two after the accident, rather than right away.
Going to a doctor will help to reassure you and potentially reveal any injuries you might not have noticed, to begin with. The doctor will also be able to prescribe treatment or offer medical advice to help you recover, and it’s important to follow this advice to the letter. If you fail to heed the doctor’s warnings, opposing legal teams may be able to use your actions against you.
These simple steps will help to protect your rights after an accident and give you the best chance of achieving some kind of compensation for your pain and suffering. It’s also best to contact a car accident or personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you act, the better your chances will be, as the lawyer will be able to get to work immediately and start putting together a case.
They’ll also be able to advise you regarding the best action to take, who to talk to, what to say, if and when you should settle, and so on. In the wake of an accident, opposing legal teams and insurance adjusters might all try to catch you out somehow, but having an attorney on your side will help to reduce the risks of any accidents being made.