Traveling this Holiday Season? Be Careful on the Roads and Know What to Do if You're in a Car Accident
What to do if you’re in a car accident
“Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go.” This holiday season, more people are packing up their cars and heading to grandma’s house or to other family and friends to celebrate.
With more people on the roads, more accidents occur. Not surprisingly, three of the five most dangerous holidays for drivers are Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day, and New Year’s Day.
If you are in an accident with another car or truck, especially if you are trying to get somewhere quickly, the temptation is to get back on the road as quickly as possible. But, it’s important to take several steps in the immediate aftermath of an accident to help you down the line if you want to recover compensation for damages from those responsible. Hiring a professional attorney who specializes in truck and car accidents is essential.
What to Do at the Scene:
- Call 911 so that needed emergency help can be dispatched to the scene.
- Take as many photos and videos of vehicle damage and the surrounding location as possible. Take photos of the damage to all vehicles—from every angle—as well as the accident scene and any environmental elements that may have caused or influenced the accident (i.e., a hidden sign or inadequate lighting) Also, record any injuries you sustain.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s). Be sure to get driver's license numbers, insurance, and license plate numbers. Take pictures of the driver’s license, license plates (front and back), and insurance documents. If a commercial truck or vehicle is involved in the accident, collect and photograph the numbers on the side of the truck’s cab (i.e. DOT number) and the trailer's license plate, plus any other identifying information you can obtain.
- Reach out to an attorney as soon as possible, particularly if the accident involves a commercial truck. Trucking companies send investigators to examine the scene of the wreck on the same day. You need someone to be your advocate.
The more information you can collect and photograph at the scene of the accident, the better. Be sure to preserve all evidence. Don’t delete or discard anything. Trucking companies can legally destroy documents, such as driver’s logs and trip records, six months after the wreck. Once that evidence is gone, there is no way to confirm the truck and/or driver were not in violation of laws and procedures.
What to Do at the Hospital
Even if you do not feel the symptoms of an injury immediately, be sure to have a thorough medical examination to rule out serious complications and confirm there is no internal bleeding. While at the hospital, it’s important that you allow yourself the time to receive all necessary treatment to get well.
What to Do When You Get Home
After receiving the appropriate medical care immediately after the accident, keep all follow-up medical and other appointments required for your recovery. Physically recovering from an accident can take time, and there might be a lot of medical appointments, but it’s important to follow all treatment guidance and not skip appointments.
This is also the time to contact a personal injury attorney, if you haven’t already. There’s a time limit on legal claims for personal injuries, so time is of the essence if you want to pursue legal assistance. Trucking companies have fleets of attorneys. You need an advocate who works for you.
A professional personal injury attorney, like those at Witherite Law Group, are experienced at dealing with insurance companies whose interests most likely do not align with yours. “Don’t try to negotiate with insurance companies on your own,” said Amy Witherite, founder of Witherite Law Group and accident attorney. “Their goal is not to pay you, and they have teams of people whose job it is to settle claims quickly and avoid payouts. It’s always worth at least consulting with an attorney about your accident to help you make the right decision.” The attorneys at Witherite Law Group always provide a free, no-obligation consultation.
The accident attorneys of Witherite Law Group help those who have been injured in a car or truck accident. Get legal help today by calling 1-800-CarWreck® or 1-800-TruckWreck or visiting www.WitheriteLaw.com. We’re available 24/7.