Did you know that over 2.3 million people were injured in car accidents last year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration? When it comes to auto accidents it’s not a matter of if it will happen to you, but when it will happen to you. In order to protect yourself better, the St. Louis Metro East Law Firm of WWF&G has created a seven-step guide of better protecting yourself if you are a victim of an auto accident.
- Stop Your Car. It is the law to stop your vehicle after an accident. If you fail to stop you may subject yourself to criminal prosecution. Stop your car as soon as possible without further endangering any person or property, and without obstructing traffic.
- Safety First. Make sure that everyone is okay. Render aid to anyone in need. Call 911 for an ambulance or for police assistance.
- Take a Breath. Once the accident has occurred there is nothing you can do and to change the situation. It is better for you to keep your cool and make sure that all parties are okay. Remaining polite will ease the tension of the situation. Ultimately, you may be entitled to a recovery, but a jury is not going to want to help someone who acts inappropriately at an accident scene – accidents happen.
- Call the Police. You should call the local authorities to file a police report. Police officers are trained to handle situations that may result from or arise after an accident. Having a police report can help speed up the process of filing your insurance claim and provides more information for your attorney to file a suit or defend your case.
- Gather Information & Photos. While you are waiting on the police you should gather as much information about each driver, witness, vehicle, and location from the accident. If you happen to have a camera or camera phone be sure to take pictures of vehicle damage, license plates, injuries, and the location.
- Treat With A Doctor As Necessary. If anyone is injured, have them take an ambulance or see a doctor immediately. It is better to be safe than sorry. A delay in treatment can be treated negatively by an insurance company evaluating your claim, and ultimately a jury.
- Consult With An Attorney. To assure the best overall results from your incident you, consult a lawyer of your personal choice. Most attorneys will give you a free consultation on this type of case. Your insurance company will always be represented by trained adjustors or by an attorney, and they may take advantage of you.
If you or a family member has been injured in auto accident, please feel free to contact WWF&G for a free consultation at 618.462.1077. We handle numerous cases similar to yours, and deal with insurance companies on a daily basis. We will maximize your financial recovery while you maximize your recovery from injuries.