Have you been involved in a traffic accident and you don’t know what to do? Perhaps this is the first time something like this has happened to you. Chances are at some point in your lifetime you will be involved in some sort of traffic accident, car accident lawyers say. Statistics show that roughly one in three people will be either injured or killed in a car accident in their lifetime.
In fact, in California, there were 426,228 traffic accidents including 2,805 that were fatal collisions in 2009, according to statistics compiled by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Accidents are reported on our state’s roadways every 74 seconds.
“When you are in an accident the first time it’s very disorienting and confusing,” said Emery Ledger, a car accident lawyer at Ledger & Associates in Newport Beach. “Always remain calm and check on the safety of your passengers as well as the other driver to see if they need help.”
The best way to prepare for the possibility of being in an accident car accident lawyers say is to wear a seatbelt, drive within posted speed limits, be alert for other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists, and avoid distractions while driving such as cell phones, eating and multitasking behind the wheel.
So what if you do all the above and you are still involved in a car accident?
Here are some basic steps car accident lawyers say you should take after an accident:
- First of all remain calm and call 911 if there are any serious injuries.
- Get out of harm’s way as quickly as possible and stay inside your car on freeways until help arrives on the scene.
- Take down the other driver’s name, telephone number, address, driver’s license number, insurance information.
- Take down names of any witnesses, address and telephone number and a brief description of what they saw. Memories can fade over time so it’s important to get the information immediately and if you can have them write it down on paper, date it and sign it.
- Keep a disposable camera in your car or use a cell phone camera to photograph the accident scene, injuries, road hazards and evidence including the vehicles of all drivers involved in the accident.
- Never admit guilt in an accident or discuss what you think happened with anyone at the scene of the incident.
- Make sure to file a police report immediately if there are any injuries or significant property damage.
- If a police officer arrives at the scene make sure to take down his name, police station and badge number for your records.
- If you are injured in a traffic accident, and you believe that someone else was at fault, call a car accident lawyer within 24 hours or as soon as possible. Delaying could hurt your case and if you wait too long you could lose your right to sue under statutes of limitations. A car accident lawyer will need to investigate the incident to determine whether you have a case against another driver.
Many accidents result in minor injuries that heal quickly, but serious injuries can take weeks or months to recover and sometimes can result in permanent disabilities or death, car lawyers say. In order to be compensated for your losses you may need to file a lawsuit against the liable party who caused your injuries.
Ledger & Associates has a team of legal experts who are experienced with all aspects of personal injury cases and will work to get compensation for those who are injured in a collision with another driver.
Call 1-800-300-0001 today for a free consultation with a car accident lawyer at Ledger & Associates.