While many drivers recognize the risks of getting into an accident, they often do not think that it will happen to them. Unfortunately, the odds of getting into a serious car accident seem to be on the rise.
A recent report from the National Safety Council estimated that deaths caused by motor vehicles rose by 6% last year. This increase in the number of fatal accidents may be the result of a number of factors, including greater mileage traveled and distracted driving habits that drivers are increasingly engaging in.
If the numbers are accurate, this would be the first time since 2007 that vehicular deaths would have exceeded 40,000 in a single year. If this becomes a trend and the frequency of car accidents rises, it is important that drivers know the best steps to take if they are in a collision.
- Assess your injuries: After an accident, it is important to first see if anyone involved has suffered a serious injury. If someone has suffered a serious injury, call an ambulance as soon as possible. If you do not need immediate medical attention, you should still see a doctor even if you think your injuries are minor. Injuries like whiplash can cause long-term damage, and seeing a doctor can help strengthen your claim with an insurance company.
- Get as much information as possible: It is important to get as much information as you can from any other drivers that may have been involved in the collision. Get their name, contact information, insurance information and license plate number of each driver. Writing down notes about the make and model of each car in the accident is wise, too.
- Document details of the accident: As time goes on after a car accident, it becomes increasingly challenging to remember details from the accident. Take a lot of photographs to document damages that were done to your car and the cars of your fellow drivers. If there were any witnesses, talking with them can be invaluable if there are any disputes about which driver was liable.
- Contact an attorney: Going through a car accident is a traumatic event, and it is not something you should try to resolve on your own. An attorney can help ease the burden of a car accident but helping to document your medical expenses, gather information about the accident and negotiating with the insurance companies. Working with an attorney experienced in dealing with motor vehicle accidents can help increase the chances that you'll receive a more favorable outcome.