Auto and Truck Accidents Are On The Rise
As states re-open, there are increased risks of auto and truck accidents. Many people have become used to open roads and to driving faster than they should. Some people have not driven in weeks and are out of practice. According to reports from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, traffic fatalities are up 11% compared to last year. Motor vehicle accidents are always traumatic. You may be injured or stunned. In the confusion following a crash, there are important steps to take.
What should you do after a motor vehicle accident?
Start by taking these steps:
Stop and assess the situation
Even if the other driver leaves the scene, you must stay, and report the incident. If you or anyone needs medical attention, call for help immediately.
Make sure you’re safe
If your car ended up in the middle of the road or any dangerous area, move it to a safe place if possible. If you can’t do that, leave the car, and get everyone to a safe place. If possible, turn on your hazard lights and place warning devices around the vehicle.
Call the police
The other driver may ask you not to report the accident, but it is important to call the police. The police report will be an official record of the accident.
Tell the 911 dispatcher:
- Your location, including nearby landmarks
- If you or anyone else is injured or trapped
- About any dangers at the scene
Seek medical treatment right away
If you were not taken to the hospital from the scene of the crash, seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident. Tell your medical provider about all of your symptoms, even symptoms you may think are minor. Some symptoms do not show up until later, but the injuries may still be serious.
Exchange information. When there has been a car accident, the parties need to exchange information, including:
- Names, addresses, phone numbers;
- Driver license numbers;
- License plate numbers;
- The vehicle makes, models, and years;
- Car insurance information;
- Location of the accident.
Gather evidence. If possible, take pictures of the cars and the scene of the accident.
Avoid discussing fault with the other parties
Most people are upset after a crash, but it is important to avoid discussing fault with the other parties. Also avoid sharing pictures or detail of the crash on social media, which may later damage your legal claim.
Consult a personal injury attorney.
Car and truck accidents may leave you with long-term or even fatal injuries. There are time limits for filing lawsuits and most injury cases involve complex legal and medical issues, so it is important to consult an attorney for advice and representation. It is important to do this before discussing the accident with other parties, speaking with representatives of an insurance company, signing any papers, or signing release forms. You deserve an attorney who will represent you zealously and who has an excellent reputation for professional courtesy. The initial consultation is your opportunity to learn more about the attorney and the law firm. It also allows the attorney to learn about your case.
An experienced auto and truck accident lawyer can review your case and advise you of your legal options. For more information or a free consultation, call Hoffman & Gelfman at (314)241-1020, or contact us online.