According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 940 individuals died in motor vehicle accidents in 2016, which was a significant increase compared to the deaths that occurred the previous year. From driving under the influence to speeding, car accidents occur far too frequently across the country, causing thousands of deaths, and countless more injuries. What should you do if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident that is caused by the negligent and reckless actions of another driver?
We have compiled a list of things you should remember to do in the aftermath of a car accident:
- Contact the police: Once you have made sure everyone is safe and there are no serious injuries, it is crucial that you call the police, even if you believe the accident is minor. Once they arrive at the scene, the police will file a report, which will be necessary for both your insurance and the at-fault party’s insurance company. This report will document several useful details, including where the accident took place, who was involved, and contact information for all drivers and passengers. Do not let the at-fault driver convince you that you can or should handle this amongst yourselves.
- Make an accurate record: When the officers arrive at the scene of the accident, it is crucial that you explain exactly what happened to the best of your ability. However, if there is something that you are uncertain of or do not know, refrain from speculating, guessing, or misstating the facts. If you are asked about any injuries and are not sure, say exactly that. Oftentimes, the symptoms of injuries do not immediately make themselves apparent, so it is better to err on the side of caution and wait for a doctor to examine and diagnose you.
- Take pictures: These days, everyone has a smartphone that has photographic capabilities, so make use of it and make sure to take as many pictures as you can at the scene. You are never going to get another chance to document the scene as accurately as you will in the immediate aftermath. Take pictures of vehicle damage, skid marks on the road, license plates, and any visible injuries. If it is not possible to take pictures at this time, take them whenever it is possible. Something is better than nothing!
- Exchange information: Chances are that the police officer who writes the report will take down the information of all those involved, but you should not solely rely on them, so be sure to exchange information as well. This should include the at-fault party’s contact information, insurance card, driver’s license, the make and model of the car he or she was driving, license plate, and the names and information of any passengers.
- Report the accident: Make sure you notify your insurance company as soon as possible. This is something that is often required by most policies, so do not put off this important step. You can also find out if you have medical benefits as part of your insurance coverage.
- Seek medical attention: In many cases, injuries are not immediately apparent. In fact, symptoms can take hours, days, even weeks before they appear, so it is vital to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you feel fine. Doing so can also protect your personal injury claim if it turns out that you were injured and need compensation for medical costs and lost time from work.
Personal Injury Attorney in Kansas
If you were injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligent actions, you need a skilled personal injury attorney on your side to ensure you receive the fair and just compensation to which you are entitled. At Martin & Wallentine, LLC, we will provide you the persistent and dedicated legal representation that is necessary to receive a successful outcome in your personal injury case.
Contact our law firm today at (816) 470-0255 to schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable member of our legal team.