If you’re like most adults, then you spend plenty of time behind the wheel of a car. That familiarity can easily lead to complacency, but accidents are far more common than many people realize. In 2014, an estimated 2.34 million people in the United States sustained injuries in motor-vehicle wrecks, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Most of those collisions were minor fender-benders, but even a slow-speed crash can cause whiplash and other injuries. Often, the symptoms of an injury do not manifest for several hours or days after the crash—and if you sustain an injury in an accident, you might need to take legal action to recover fair compensation.
As such, every driver should know how to protect their interests in the event of a crash. Keep these five tips in mind the next time you are in a fender-bender:
- Stay calm.
- Contact the police.
- Record the contact details of drivers and witnesses.
- Take photos of the accident scene.
- Visit a doctor.
An Attorney from Our Team Can Help You Understand Your Options
If you or a family member was injured by a negligent driver, turn to Morris Bart, LTD. A Biloxi accident attorney will help you claim compensation for medical bills, lost income, car repairs, and noneconomic damages.
Our legal team has been representing the injured for more than 30 years, and we will give your case the individual attention that it deserves.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Manage Your Mississippi Collision Case from the Start
Why is it important to know what to do and how to handle yourself from when a collision occurs until you get the insurance payout or jury award you need? Understanding this process can make it easier and less stressful as you fight for compensation to pay your bills and cover your losses. Let’s take a closer look at five steps you should take immediately after a fender-bender:
After a collision, you may feel tempted to lash out at the driver who caused the wreck, but this will not help your situation. It is normal to feel shaken up, angry, and myriad other emotions during this time. However, keeping them under control until you can get away from the scene is the best option.
For example, it can be challenging to monitor what you say when emotions are running high. Instead, take a few deep breaths to calm your nerves before exchanging contact and insurance information with the other driver.
Contact the Police
You should contact the police after any crash—even if you do not believe you were injured. The police report will be valuable evidence if the other driver denies liability. In addition, law enforcement will manage the accident scene, ensuring everyone involved remains there and collecting their information. They may also issue citations, which could help you prove what caused the crash. For example, the at-fault driver could receive a ticket for running a traffic signal or failing to yield.
Record the Contact Details of Drivers and Witnesses
Record the contact and insurance details of all drivers involved in the wreck. You will need that information to make a claim. While the police should collect this information, you also should. Having too much information is better than not having it and the police report failing to include it. Taking a picture of both sides of their driver’s license and insurance card should work. Also, ask for their phone number.
You should also write down witnesses’ contact details. Then, your injury attorney may use their testimonies to support your claim. In some cases, you may connect with eyewitnesses who police do not identify or leave the scene before being interviewed.
Take Photos of the Accident Scene
Pictures can help your injury lawyer prove negligence, liability, and damages. Take photos that show injuries, property damage, the positions of vehicles, traffic signs, and skid marks. Take some close-up photos and others at a distance if you can safely do so. Video of the scene can also help your lawyer and the involved insurers understand what happened.
Visit a Doctor
You should visit a doctor after any collision— even if you do not feel severely injured. If you put off the medical evaluation, your accident attorney might find it difficult to tie your injuries to the wreck. In addition, an early assessment can help ensure injuries are diagnosed, and treatment begins quickly.
Some injuries, including some that can be severe, do not display initially. For example, internal bleeding is not always symptomatic for several hours.
How an Attorney Can Help You After a Mississippi Traffic Accident
Once you see a doctor and your injuries are stable, your next step might be to consider how you will recover compensation for your injuries and damages. For example, if you only incurred property damage, you could file your claim and handle negotiations for fair payment to cover your repairs or replacement of a totaled vehicle.
However, injury accident claims can take much more time. You will have medical bills, time away from work, pain and suffering, and other damages to consider. In addition, you may still be undergoing treatment. Working with an attorney can make this process much more manageable.
Your attorney can:
- Investigate what happened and identify the liable parties
- Gather support for your claim and value the case
- Demand fair compensation from the insurance company
- Negotiate for a fair settlement or prepare the case for trial
- Represent you during the legal process
Talk to an Attorney From Morris Bart, LTD, for Free
If you were injured in a collision that another driver caused, contact Morris Bart, LTD. We provide free consultations for Mississippi accident victims to explain their legal options after a crash. We have offices in Gulfport, Hattiesburg, and Pascagoula. One of our injury attorneys will handle the legal aspects of your claim so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Call (800) 537-8185 today to schedule a free consultation.
to find a Morris Bart office near you.