There’s a Car Crash Every 10 Seconds
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), someone in the United States is involved in a car crash every 10 seconds. Of those car accidents, 6% result in a fatality, 27% result in a non-fatal injury, and 72% result in property damage. (Source: DriverKnowledge.com)
Most of the time, car collisions are viewed in terms of personal safety and vehicle damages. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s also a financial transaction between you, the other driver, and insurance companies. This means you need to be prepared so you can protect your assets.
If you or a loved one is injured during a vehicle accident that is not your fault, then we recommend you contact us right away for a free consultation. A Personal Injury Attorney can help you navigate the process and assist you in the recovery of your losses.
After a Car Accident: The First 15 Minutes
1. Stop Your Car
If you are involved in a car crash, STOP your car. Move it to the side of the roadway, ONLY, if you can do so safely. Don’t forget to turn on your hazard/ emergency lights.
Stay in your car unless you can get out safely. Check on others. Do not apologize or admit fault. This could be used against you down the road.
2. Call the Police
Always call the police, regardless of the damages. Calling the police helps you bring in a neutral third party to document the accident and can even help speed up the claims process with your insurance adjuster.
Even if you and the other driver agree that you and your vehicles are ok, both have insurance, the other driver was very polite, you still want to file a police report. You’d be surprised at how many times the other party comes back with a different story and suddenly it’s your word against the other driver’s.
A police report helps to prevent the other party from changing his story. It will show who appeared to be injured, what the extent of the damage to each vehicle was, and who appeared to be at fault.
3. Take Photos
Take lots of photos (only if you are able to do so safely) of your car, of the other vehicle and the surrounding area. Take photos of the debris on the roadway. The photos you take can help you down the road when the other insurance company questions your story.
If you can find eyewitnesses, collect their contact information to give to the police and to your insurance company.
4. Collect the Driver’s Info
Get the other driver’s contact information, insurance information and vehicle information. Even if the police are there, collect the information for yourself, too.
5. Call the Insurance Company
Once you’re finished speaking with the police officer and collecting the other driver’s information, it’s important to call your insurance company to let them know what happened. They’ll ask about the police report and the other driver’s insurance.
After you call the police, take pictures, and call your insurance company then put your phone away. Don’t post about the accident on social media. Even posting “Thankfully I’m ok” is something the defense insurance company and their lawyers will seize on to minimize or defeat your claim.
6. Go to the Hospital, If Needed
It is vitally important to have a medical provider document your injuries. If you are injured please seek medical care and treatment right away. Do not delay. Follow your medical providers advice and attend any follow up appointment.
7. Call The James Law Firm
If you’re a victim of a motor vehicle accident and have been injured anywhere in Iowa, don’t hesitate to call us today at 515-246-8484. We represent clients in Des Moines, Davenport/Quad Cities, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Sioux City, Council Bluffs and more. We will travel to help you!