Protect Your Rights After a Traffic Accident
Most people don’t think much about traffic accidents. Not serious accidents, anyway. Those happen to other people, right?
Wrong. More than 35,000 people died in traffic accidents in the United States during 2015, and this number has increased from nearly 33,000 in 2014. This was a 7.2 percent increase in fatalities, the largest increase since an 8.1 percent increase from 1965 to 1966. The Department of Transportation estimated that traffic accidents injured nearly 2.5 million people in 2015. The DOT’s estimated number of police-reported crashes rose from six million to 6.3 million, an increase of 3.8 percent over 2014.
Almost all segments of the road-traveling public saw increases in fatalities, including passenger vehicle occupants, passengers of large trucks, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, men and women, daytime drivers, and nighttime drivers. Drivers of large commercial trucks were among the only groups to not see an increase in fatalities.
So, yes, it can happen to you. What if it does?
You can protect your rights if you are involved in a traffic accident.
Take Care of These Things First
If you are involved in a traffic accident, even if you don’t yet know if anyone is injured, call 911. Once you have notified the authorities, take these steps:
- If you can, move your vehicle out of the line of traffic and turn on your hazard flashers.
- Find out if anyone is injured, and convey that information to the 911 operator.
- Exchange insurance information with other drivers involved in the accident.
- Take photos and get the names and contact information of any witnesses. In the age of smart phones, taking pictures is easy, and you should have your own evidence of damages, especially if you believe another driver was at fault. Later, you might want to find pictures of your car from before the accident, to give evidence of what damage occurred in the accident. Witness information that you can give to the police and your insurance company will only help your case.
- Contact your insurer and give a concise explanation of what happened. Answer any questions they have, tell the truth, and don’t go beyond what you know to be true.
After the Accident, Take These Steps
If you suffered any injuries, keep a record of all medical treatments, even if they were precautionary visits to a doctor to see if anything was wrong. Keep records of any work you missed due to the accident. Furthermore, get estimates—plural—for damage to your car and, if mechanics cannot repair it, at least two quotes for its replacement cost. Your insurer—or the other driver’s insurer, if the other driver was at fault—might want to pay less than your actual costs, so be prepared.
If You Were in an Automobile Accident in the Savannah Area, Call Hasner Law to Discuss Your Options
If you were in a traffic accident in the Savannah area and suffered injuries or property damages, part of the process to protect your rights to compensation must include consulting an attorney. An experienced attorney can help you explore your compensation options. Take advantage of a free case evaluation to determine if an attorney can help maximize your compensation for your injuries or damages. The attorneys at Hasner Law can help. Contact us at (912) 234-2334 or at our online contact form.